What I Know Now: Dismantling Mental Health Misconceptions
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
— Maya Angelou
When it comes to our mental and emotional health, many of us struggle to extend grace, compassion, and understanding to younger versions of ourselves. We harshly place judgment and blame on the person we once were, holding ourselves to the standard of who we are now.
In reality, most of us are doing the best we can with what we have. And like Maya Angelou says, as we know better, we do better. The more awareness we have, the more we can grow and evolve into a more full version of ourselves. This is especially true when it comes to our mental health.
As the individual and global conversation around mental health has begun to shift, many common misconceptions have risen to the surface.
Do any of these mental health misconceptions sound familiar to you?
- Taking care of my mental health means something is wrong with me
- I’m broken for needing help
- Anxiety and depression make me weak
- No one else is feeling the way I feel
- My emotions are a liability
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re pushing back against these misconceptions and normalizing the conversation around mental health.
On a recent episode of the Living Centered Podcast, several Onsite team members opened up about their own mental and emotional health journeys and the things they’ve learned along the way.
Here’s a sneak peek at the conversation…
Q: What do you know now that you wish you’d known about your mental health?
It’s a Lifelong Journey
“It is like a constant journey. And I think that’s something I wish I had figured out sooner that you can’t just like put a band-aid on things. It won’t be like ‘Everything’s love! My mental health journey was a year, and it’s now it’s over.” — Abby Stevenson, Digital Media Specialist
Mental Health is as Important as Physical Health
“Mental illness is just as merited as physical illness. For me, spraining my ankle and doing the things that lead to recovery is very similar to realizing that some things were off chemically and needing to treat that.” —Andrew Beardon, Program Manager
Mental Health is Holistic
“I thought that mental health meant seeing a therapist. I thought it was just talking to somebody like I had seen on TV. What I realize now is so much more that goes into that. Friend relationships, food that you eat, your happiness, your safety, all of that can go into my mental health.” — JoCarol Cohen, Office Director for Miles Adcox
It’s Not Something I Have to Qualify For
“Something that has changed how I view mental health is actually Onsite’s approach to trauma. It really struck a chord with me when I first saw Onsite’s reframe and redefinition of trauma. We often define trauma as “anything less than nurturing.” I was one of those people that, before learning that, when I thought of the word trauma, I thought of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I saw trauma as this big thing with a qualification to it. You had to meet a certain standard or pass a certain threshold to qualify for trauma. The reframe has helped me grasp the bigger picture, and I started to analyze how the past has affected my present. It’s allowed me to give grace to myself and others because, you know, we’re all just doing the best we can with the tools that we have. It’s not about assigning blame to anyone or anything like that. It’s allowing yourself to cope with it and deal with it. And to give yourself the grace and the permission to continue and be better and do the best you can.” — Jeremy Hopper, Instructional Designer and Technology Manager
Mental Health Care is Expansive
“I didn’t know about mental health until I was in college. I wasn’t exposed to that as a resource, part of healthcare, or part of life. It wasn’t until l I was in college, studying social work. I would have loved to have known that it existed before working in the field. I also think people have a very narrow view of what mental health services are and what therapy is. Therapy is just one little leg of the whole mental health process. It’s so varied and unique. And there’s so much more individuality. There are a million different ways to do therapy. I’d wish I’d known there were a lot of options.” — Tara Booker, Therapist at Milestones
What about you? What did you know now that you wish you knew before about mental health?
Join us all month long as we celebrate Mental Health Awareness and our vision to create an emotionally well world.