Why Is It Important to Seek Help for Mental Health?

Why Is It Important to Seek Help for Mental Health?
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 19-03-2024

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What is Mental health?

Mental health help is for lifeline for individuals dealing with mental illness, psychological disorders, emotional distress and the complications of the human mind. Mental health is basically about how we think, feel and react to various life situations. When you keep your  mental health in a good state, it helps to deal with various daily life stresses. Everyone go through the phases of  high and low in their life and a low phase doesn t mean you have mental illness as it s normal to have feelings like sadness, anxiety, or anger when dealing with challenges but the problem arises when it starts affecting your daily functioning of living. 

Seeking professional help for mental health is important for empowering overall mental health well-being. To address various psychological concerns with the assistance of trained mental health professionals such as, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapist, people can acquire valuable strategies of coping, address underlying issues, and foster self-awareness. Furthermore, seeking help contributes to disassemble the stigma linked to mental health, empower healthy relationships, awareness of importance of mental health and prevent issues from getting worse.  

Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Mental health awareness is of great importance due to its multifaceted affect on communities ,individuals, and societies at large. The campaigns of mental health awareness play an essential role in eliminating the stigma of mental illness. 

Increased awareness empower individuals to acknowledge the signs and symptoms of mental health condition in themselves and others. Individual can access support and treatment appropriately with early interventions by preventing problems to raise into more severe disorders. This posits better results, enhance quality of life, and reduced long-term affect on individuals mental well-being. Mental health campaigns also plays a very crucial role in promoting mental health well-being through available resources such as support groups, hotlines and mental health services. This helps to raise gaps in access to mental health care and to make sure that support is reached to the ones who require it.

Role of mental health professionals 

Mental health professionals play a crucial role in supporting people addressing issues in promoting and improving their mental well-being. They will provide treatment and support from mental health professional with a several titles such as, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Mental health worker, Clinical Social Worker and Mental health counselor. Some of these professionals are from hospitals, organization or from community settings. All of them work with the individual or family to access them to develop skills and strategies to manage emotions, thoughts and behaviours that affects ones s mental health. The aim is to provide the independence of individual s area of productivity, selfcare and leisure.

Mental health professionals evaluate the individuals through physical, mental or cognitive assessments with ongoing medical assessment. Sometimes when the severe case arrives, then it may refers for specialist consultation and treatment only if its necessary. They helps to address how to prevent your both physical health and mental health needs. The assistance provided by mental health professionals not only help to address present mental illness but also prepare the individuals for future illnes by ensuring them about the preventive measures that they can apply in future. 

Some people have several doubts while selecting a Mental health therapist or a Counselor. There are few things that needs to be followed by a therapist or a counselor to provide appropriate help to individuals who needs online counselling for better living:

  • Providing Understanding and empathy 
  • To listen without judgment 
  • Extensive and appropriate knowledge of the illness 
  • Available for call, if someone needed
  • Willing to try alternative therapies, which can also include those that are slightly invasive  
  • Encourage individual for personal choices 
  • Therapist or a counselor should be experienced and Skilled by providing genuine support, counsel and advice 
  • Affordable rates should be provided so that it won t affect the individual s financial resources who are seeking help.
  • Ensure to take review after the therapy becaue many individuals ask for recommendation and references before making appointments. 

Mental Health Counselors or Mental health therapist operate with individuals, families, couple, parents and groups to promote mental and emotional support. They help them to unearth various issues linked with family, and parenting, Addiction, stress management, self-esteem, and many more. They are also engaged in treating and evaluating people with all types of mental and psychotic disorders (e.g. schizophrenia), mood disorders (e.g. depression, and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Mainly they practice psychological assessment, clinical formulation and psychotherapy for the aim of understanding, preventing and allievate the psychologically-based conditions and enhance their mental well-being and promote personality development. 

Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Help 

Everyone goes through several changes in their emotions, thoughts, and behavior often in their life. But problem arises when these changes start worsening your mental health and affecting your daily functioning of living, and those were the signs and symtoms of mental illness.

Mental illness is of different types, which includes anxiety disorders, biploar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. Mostly people themelves or people around you could only observe and feel changes in how you think, feel and act in particular situations. If you re able to recognise the issues, then getting help from Mental Health professional is required. 

Following are the Signs and symptoms to seek professional help for mental health:

  • Loss of interest 
  • Feels disconnected from friends and family 
  • Constant feeling of sadness 
  • Constant anxious thoughts 
  • Extreme changes in mood 
  • Changes in sleeping pattern 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Reduced socializing with people outside 
  • Disorganised thought
  • Constant worry and fear about various things 
  • Changes in sex drive 
  • Uncontrollable anger 
  • Unexplained and unidentified physical illness 
  • Loss of reality 
  • Substance use/abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Low self-esteem, self-confidence and self-regard 
  • Self-harm tendency 
  • Personality issues 
  • Unusual behaviour 

If people are experiencing these signs and symptoms of mental health, then its important for people to go for Mental health and healthcare professional for assistance. The cause of these signs and symptions includes, some major life events like the loss of loved one, unemployment, Traumatic past events, or Childhood trauma. Moreover, the treatment should start early, so then the condition can be improved by allievating the serious affects of mental illness.

Benefits of seeking help for mental health 

Seeking mental health help promotes various benefits that leads to enhance over-all mental well-being and improves quality of life. People facing various mental condition can be a experience of isolation and dealing alone isn’t always the answer to getting away from difficult times. Seeking professional help for mental health offers appropriate support, advive and guidance to deal with the mental health issues.  Here are some benefits of seeking mental health help: 

  • Coping skills improved: Seeking help for mental health issues provides people with essential and effective coping strategies to deal with anxiety, stress, depression and othe mental health problems. These skills encourage individuals to get through difficult emotions and problems more effectively.
  • Self-awareness: Various therapy and counseling sessions provides a safe space to an individual for self-realization and exploration. This process helps individuals to gain a better and deep understanding of their feelings, thought, behaviors, and patterns which contributes to enhance self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Enhance Emotional Resilience: Seeking professional help for Mental health aids individuals to develop resilience by encouraging them how to recover from setbacks, cope with difficulty, and adapt to change. Developing resilience encourage individuals to deal with daily life challenges with strength and flexibility.
  • Improved interpersonal skills: Dealing with mental health problems can contribute to enhanced understanding, communication and connection in relationships with friends, family members, romantic partners, and other people around you. Mental health therapist encourage individuals to understand and spread awareness about relationship dynamics, setting healthy boundaries, and has improved interpersonal skills.
  • Decreased Symptoms: Seeking help from mental health counselor or a therapist can reduce the symptoms of common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD. An appropriate treatment and support is required for individuals to work for the reduction in symptoms of distressing and for the improvement in overall functioning.
  • Escalation prevention: Early intervention helps to prevent mental health problems to get worse over time. Seeking help is paramount important to deal with problems from getting into more severe problems and reduce the chances of complications of long-term impacts on mental health.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Dealing with mental health issues encourage individuals to promote greater overall Quality of life. By dealing with mental health concerns, individuals can achieve their goals, involve in meaningful activities, and develop fulfilling relationships and enjoyment in life.
  • Stigma reduction: Seeking help for mental health issues helps to reduce the stigma related to mental illness. Mental health concerns should be addressed openly to seek support and guidance which leads to create a surrounding of understanding, acceptance and compassion.
  • Improved Productivity: Addressing mental health issues contributes to enhance better focus, attention, and productivity in several areas of life, includes workplace, school, and personal projects. Individuals with improved mental health can attain their goals more effectively and efficiently.

Overall, seeking professional help for mental health issues provides a broad range of benefits that affects  positively to every aspect of life, related to relationships problems and work for personal happiness and fulfillment. A study was conducted in 2014 on the benefits and barriers for students for seeking mental health support. A stigma is considered as a potential barrier to seek mental health help. A sample size of 682 students were taken of both girls and boys. Findings stated that females have less stigma-related issues than males and also received the abundance of benefits to participated in affordable mental health services. Also the students who had recieved mental health help reported more barriers to treatment than the students who had never been to therapy. It is also concluded that barriers should also be reduced to providing positive outcomes associated with mental health help  by encouraging students with better educational programs. 

Types of Mental Health Professionals 

There are various types of mental health professionals, each with unique training, qualifications, and expertise area. It can be difficult for the people to get through mental, spiritual, emotional and relationship problems. But finding right mental health professional can help you to deal with various issues in life. Some of them are here:

  • Psychiatrists: Psychiatrists are the medical doctors who are specialized in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental issues. They help to prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral related problems. They are licensed to prescribe psychiatric medications and can provide other kinds of treatment as well. There are also number of best psychiatrist in India available. 
  • Psychologists: Psychologists holds a doctoral degrees (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology and are expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health issues. They are specialize in various areas, such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or neuropsychology and usually offer therapies, counseling, and psychological testing. They give services at various places like schools, hospitals, or private offices and deal with wide range of problems, such as relationship issues,  mood disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders and other forms of disorders.
  • Clinical Social Workers: Clinical social workers holds a master s degree in social work and are specialized in training of providing therapy, counseling, and support to families, groups and individuals. They provide help to clients by addressing the issues related to social, emotional, and psychological concerns and may offer case management, advocasy and resource reference.
  • Licensed Professional Counselors: Licensed Professional Counselors holds a  master s degrees in counseling and are licensed to offer counseling and therapy to people dealing with various forms of mental health concerns. They specialized in supporting clients by providing a wide range of therapeutic approaches.
  • Marriage and Family Therapists: They holds a master s degrees in marriage and family therapy and must be specialized in dealing with couples and families to address couple conflict problems, communication issues, and other family dynamics that affects the mental health. They aim to improve communication between partners and family members to strengthen their connection which helps to create a more stable and comfortable relationship in the future.
  • Psychiatric Nurses: Psychiatric nurses has done a specialized training in mental health nursing and provide service at various settings, such as clinics, hospital, and community mental health centers. They also offer medication management, assessment and care to individuals with mental health problems. There are advanced practise registered nurses as well with specilization training in mental health and psychiatric care.  
  • Art Therapists: Like other psychotherapists, Art therapists have training in both psychotherapy and art as they uses art as a form of expression and to assist client to communicate in providing support and help in exploring emotions, dealing and resolving conflicts, and enhancing self-awareness and provide healing.
  • Substance Abuse Counselors: Substance abuse counselors are specialize in treating people dealing with addiction and substance abuse concerns. They offer support, counseling and resources to help clients to achieve and maintain soberness and address various underlying mental health issues.

These are just few of Mental Health professionals providing support, counseling, and understanding. Each professional has their own unique expertise, skill and approaches and different specialities to support and help individuals in attaining their mental health goals. Some can help to evaluate and diagnose the mental health problems. They can also offer assistance to plan the course of treatment and diagnosis and provide support and guidance through the journey.

Addressing Mental Health in Different life Stages

Mental health well-being is crucial at every life stage, from childhood to adolescence through adulthood and through senior years. Over the course of  life, everyone experience milestone and face challenges, that includes unmanageable stress and mental illness where the persons thinking, mood and behaviour is  affecting. Several challenges occur to your mental health because of transitioning from child to adolecscence to adulthood, to develop relations and then becoming a parent and growing old and some challenges occurred due to major life events suc as, lose of loved ones, losing a job, or some traumatic experience  and long term-issue. Addressing mental health at different life stages is crucial for promoting overall well-being and resilience. Here s how mental health needs and considerations may vary across various stages of life:

Childhood and Adolescence:
Good mental health wellbeing and a good cognitive development is formed from the womb and impacted by multiple factors, such as genetic and environmental factors. The early intervention helps to allievate long term outcomes by identifying and addressing mental health issues early in childhood. For Children s mental health developement, Mental health professionals create a supportive and nurturing environments at school, home and in the community by teaching them and creating awarness about emotions, behviour, coping skills and healthy relations that encourage them to manage stress and enhance resilience.

Young Adulthood:
Young adulthood is a major transition period which often includes important life transitions such as leaving from home, begin college or a career, and establing new relationships. These transitions can affect mental health and may need additional support. The peer support is essential and beneficial at this stage as it particularly helps to build strong social relations and support networks as they experience a range of emotionsat this stage. Mental health and well-being can be influenced in this stage by exploring their values, beliefs and identity.

Adulthood:
Adulthood is a set of new challenges as major life events appeared within this stage. Individual are dealing with major issues such as, heartbreak, getting married, long hours of work, financial issues, having childrem, long duration work, an accident, long-distance relationship, an injury or even death can all affect the  mental health and well-being of an individual. It has become impossible for the people to maintain a work-life balance by balancing family, work and personal things all togther as it is vital for enhancing good mental health well-being. As people navigate through various challenges in life, then learning coping skills and effective techniques of stress managment can help adults them to deal with it. Relationship concerns and communication pattern should also be addressed with family members, partners, and colleagues is paramount important for mental health.

Middle Age:
Middle age people often brings essential life changes such as shifts in career, leaving children home, or worring about aging parents. These transitions can affect mental health and may need adaptation and support. Some people start prioritizing various self-care activities such as, meditation, relaxation, exercise and hobbies which has become essential in maintaining good mental health well-being. Mental Health therapist can benefit mid-age adults for seeking mental health help to navigate various transistions in life and to manage stress.

Older Adulthood:
Mental health professional addresses mental health issues linked with aging, such as loneliness, cognitive decline, and grief, which is essential for enhancing quality of life. Older adulthood s mental well-being can be improved by maintaining social connections and engaged in meaningful activities. It is also needed to be ensure that affordable mental health services  and support should be available for older adults, mainly those with chronic health issues or disorders. 

It’s essential to maintain mental health and well-being at each stage of life, not just for a day or a week or for a moment, but for a lifetime happiness and well-being. Seeking mental health professional help is paramount important so if you feel stuck anytime in your lifetime, then there are various mental health prfessional available with unique and different specialities. 

Reference

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Bearse, J. L., McMinn, M. R., Seegobin, W., & Free, K. (2013). Barriers to psychologists seeking mental health care. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 44(3), 150.

Cauce AM, Domenech-Rodriguez M, Paradise M, et al.(2002). Cultural and contextual influences in mental health help seeking: a focus on ethnic minority youth. J Consult Clin Psychol, 70: 44–45. 

Edwards, J. L., & Crisp, D. A. (2017). Seeking help for psychological distress: Barriers for mental health professionals. Australian Journal of Psychology, 69(3), 218-225.

Rickwood, D. J., Deane, F. P., & Wilson, C. J. (2007). When and how do young people seek professional help for mental health problems?. Medical journal of Australia, 187(S7), S35-S39.

Shi, W., & Hall, B. J. (2020). Barriers to professional mental health help-seeking among Chinese adults: a systematic review. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 537052.

Tuliao, A. P. (2014). Mental health help seeking among Filipinos: A review of the literature. Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 5(2), 124-136.

Vidourek, R. A., King, K. A., Nabors, L. A. & Merianos, A. L.(2007). Students benefits and barriers to mental health help-seeking. Health Psychol Behav Med.,  2(1), 1009–1022.

Zachrisson, H. D., Rödje, K., Mykletun, A. (2006).Utilization of health services in relation to mental health problems in adolescents: a population based survey. BMC Public Health, 6: 34–40. 

Zartaloudi, A., & Madianos, M. (2010). Stigma related to help-seeking from a mental health professional. Health science journal, 4(2), 77.

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