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Breaking Barriers: Overcoming Stigma Surrounding Women's Mental Health

In recent years, a lot of progress has been made in breaking down some of the barriers around mental health, however stigma still remains a significant issue. Today we will discuss stigma in women’s mental health, how it impacts women, and what we can do to address it. 


The Impact:


Historically women were viewed as overly emotional, dramatic and lacking in logical thinking. This false narrative has a strong impact because viewing women from this tainted lens can cause misdiagnosis and under-diagnosis when it comes to mental health disorders. Also, this can cause women to shy away from expressing their feelings, or the difficulties they may be facing in fear of being called dramatic. These harmful stereotypes don’t only make it harder for women to reach out to needed support or help, but it can even worsen their symptoms.


 What can we do to address that? 


A woman looking at her reflection

1. Educating yourself and others:

Take the time to understand mental health conditions, including their signs and symptoms. This can help you learn more about what it means to have a mental health condition and allow you to challenge some of the myths and stereotypes that exist in our societies.




A black woman in the bathtub reading.

2. Speak openly about mental health:

Share your experiences with mental health, to the extent you're comfortable with. Mental health conditions do not need to be a well kept secret, many people suffer from mental health issues, and talking about it can be very helpful. Foster a safe space for others to share as well, but make sure that you’re in the right mental state to hear their stories.


Hands making a square shape.

3. Seek and offer support:

Remember, that there is strength in acknowledging the need for the support, so seek out professional help if you need it. You can support others by listening without judgment, offering empathy, and encouraging them to reach out for professional help. Seeking and offering support can decrease feelings of loneliness and self-isolation.

Black women hugging each other.

4. Embrace vulnerability and practice self care:

Develop healthy habits, like exercise and mindfulness. Check in with how you're feeling regularly, and remember that it's okay to not be okay. Accepting and expressing different emotions is an important step towards a healthier life.



A puzzle piece with the word goal written on it

5.  Challenge discrimination and be an advocate for mental health:

Promote equality and challenge acts of discrimination when you see it. Support mental health initiatives and campaigns that work towards mental health awareness. 



Overcoming stigma is not easy, but it starts with us. Educating ourselves, and spreading the right information is important to debunk the myths that impact our lives and health everyday. We all deserve support, and stigma can be a barrier that stops people from reaching out. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help when needed and encourage others to do so! 

Ready to start your journey to wellness? Contact us today to request a free phone consultation or join one of our groups.

 

About Wellness Tree Counseling...


Our mission at Wellness Tree Counseling is to promote wellness through a culturally sensitive lens so that individuals, families and communities are encouraged to rise to their full potential and engage life in meaningful ways.


Our vision is to provide the BIPOC community with comprehensive holistic care that empowers and equips them with skills to work toward improved mental health and well-being. We take great pride in treating the whole-person.


At Wellness Tree Counseling, we value treating our clients and community with C.A.R.E. (Compassion, Affirming, Respect, & Empathy).



To learn more about our services, please visit www.wellnesstreecounseling.com




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