Counselling Directory Wants to Get People Talking About Mental Health

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With an estimated one in six adults suffering from a ‘significant’ mental health problem each year*, talking about mental health is more important than ever before. Though there is still much work to be done to take the taboo out of something that affects us all, Counselling Directory – an online database of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists - reports today, that over 70%** of their visitors have said their decision to seek counselling was entirely their own.

Counselling Directory
73% of visitors to Counselling Directory said they their decision to seek help from a counsellor/psychotherapist was entirely their own.

According to figures from a recent survey of visitors to Counselling Directory, 73%** of respondents independently made their own decision to seek counselling/psychotherapy. Whilst much more work is still required in order to stamp out mental health discrimination entirely, this figure suggests that individuals who do require the support of a counsellor are beginning to feel more at ease with recognising their own problems and seeking help for them.

Talking openly and honestly about mental health, or acknowledging that some additional emotional support may be needed can be one of the most difficult aspects of recognising and treating a mental health problem.

Negativity and stereotypes surrounding mental health problems mean that many individuals feel they may face prejudice if they talk frankly about their mental health, though keeping those problems bottled up will only result in a prolonged recovery period and in some cases breakdowns in both personal and professional relationships.

Efforts to lesson mental health stigma are also being made by the Government. Back in February of this year the ‘No Health without Mental Health’ strategy was announced, outlining ways to help the NHS, charities, local government and the voluntary sector to overcome the stigma of mental health[1].

The strategy promises a cash injection of £400m in a bid to improve access to evidence-based psychological therapies such as counselling by 60% in the next four years, also identifying the following objectives as priorities:

    -More people will have good mental health
    -More people with mental health problems will recover
    -Fewer people will experience stigma and discrimination

Talking about mental health helps to break down negative stereotypes, encourages those in distress to seek help, and can strengthen relationships. Counselling Directory wants to continue to get people talking about mental health, so have developed some great tips to help get the conversation started:

Talking to someone about a mental health problem

  • Identify opportunities – Someone who feels ready to talk about their mental health should make sure they don’t shy away from opportunities to talk. If someone makes an enquiry as to how they are, instead of shying away from the question they should be open and honest.
  • Be ready for all responses – Announcing a mental health problem can come as a real shock to friends, family or colleagues. Often when people are not sure what to say or how to help, they can end up initially saying something they later regret. Consider both positive and negative reactions in preparation for all scenarios.
  • Consider your timing – Individuals who are considering opening up about mental health should only do so when they feel completely ready and comfortable.
  • Prepare for any questions – Telling another person about a mental health problem may result in a series of questions which they are asking in a bid to help them understand. With this in mind it may be of benefit to prepare by having some information on hand that they can take away and process. http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk have a huge array of informative fact-sheets about various areas of distress.

Talking to someone about their mental health problem:

  • Do some research – Those who are considering talking to someone they believe may require some additional support may find that doing some research and having some information on hand may be of benefit. If the person with the mental health problem feels uncomfortable with the conversation and decides it is not the right time, passing them on some information will allow them to read it in their own time. Visit http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk for useful fact-sheets about mental health and other areas of distress.

-Don’t be afraid to ask questions – The thought of approaching someone who has been ill may seem very daunting, but even if they don’t feel comfortable talking about their experience at that time, making them aware that they don’t have to avoid the issue will be a comfort.

-Steer clear of clichés – Don’t brush off someone else’s problem with a ‘chin up’ or a ‘pull yourself together’, as phrases such as these may result in the other person closing up and feeling as though they are being judged.

-Don’t sidestep the conversation – Confiding in another person can be a very difficult decision for an individual with a mental health problem, so if this happens don’t turn a blind eye because it is difficult to accept. Acknowledge that they have a problem and let them know that they have support.

A qualification in mental health isn’t necessary to talk to someone about how they are feeling, or for a person to take control of their own mental health. Those who feel that they would really benefit from some additional support, or those who know someone they would like to encourage to seek help should be aware that seeking professional advice from a GP or a counsellor is key.

http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk is a valuable tool for those wishing to find out more about counselling and psychotherapy. With a detailed library of fact-sheets and an extensive database of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists, visiting Counselling Directory could play an important role in helping those in need back to good mental health.

About Counselling Directory

Counselling Directory recognised the need for a service that collated all of the information needed to help those in distress. Having access to the right information and finding the right counsellor is a really important step, and though other directories may supply contact details, Counselling Directory goes that extra mile and provides clarification of the support each counsellor offers.

Counselling Directory lists full profiles, detailing the areas of counselling each counsellor offers, the fees they charge and background information as to the kind of person they are, as well as providing a wealth of information about counselling and psychotherapy on the website so visitors can find all the information they need before choosing a counsellor.

Contact Information

Emma Hilton, Press Officer
Memiah Limited
emmahilton(at)memiah(dot)co(dot)uk
http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk
0844 3760 130

References

*Office for National Statistics 2000, Psychiatric morbidity among adults living in private households in Great Britain.

**Based on a survey of 235 visitors to the site.

[1]Department of Health (2011) No health without mental health: a cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages.

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Emma Hilton, Press Officer
Memiah Limited
0844 3760 130
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