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Squashing the stigma of mental healthcare

Last Modified: May 20, 2021

Family Medicine, Healthy Mind

EAP stigma

This post was written by LaDonna J. Hayden, MA, LMHC, student assistance counselor, Parkview Employee Assistance Program.

In an ideal world, everyone would see a therapist regularly. Every six months, you would see your primary care physician, dentist and therapist, which would be typical human upkeep. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t there yet. 

In reality, seeking therapeutic resources brings up many issues, including access to care, insurance, availability, and, unfortunately, stigma. But now is the time to squash the stigma because, in the words of a viral meme, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Currently, the world is engaged in an active pandemic, and everyone has experienced or is presently experiencing some level of trauma. Therefore, we must come together and do our part to normalize accessing mental healthcare and services. 

Unsure of where to begin? Try a few of these strategies to get started:

  1. Recognize when you are not meeting your standards or when something doesn’t feel right.
  2. Check out a free online mental health screening with the understanding that it’s only a tool used for reference and not a trained professional.
  3. Ask your company, human resources department or school if they have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Student Assistance Program, affiliate service or other mental health resources. 
  4. Consult your insurance provider and request a list of in-network mental health providers.  
  5. Speak with a trusted healthcare provider for mental health resources. 
  6. Try searching online for a therapist or mental health services.
  7. Ask friends or family for help and recommendations. 

Once you have the names, numbers and email addresses of a few providers, give them a call or email them. After obtaining the necessary information, take a moment to determine which one is right for you and if their availability meets your needs. Then, schedule and attend your appointments. If, after a few visits, you feel that fit is an issue, don’t be afraid to go back to your initial search to find a new therapist. 

Finally, to help eliminate the stigma, share your mental health journey with your friends and family. Let them know about your successes, difficulties and everything in between. With your help and commitment to better living, we will all start to see mental healthcare turn into standard human care. 


Helpful resources

Mental Health America

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