by Clinton Power, founder Australia Counselling

I blog for World Mental Health DayFor World Mental Health Day, October 10 2015, I’m reflecting on the state of mental health in Australia – how far we’ve come, where we are today, and where we need to go next.

One of the reasons I started the Australia Counselling Directory back in 2011 is I wanted to connect more Australians with qualified counsellors and psychotherapists throughout our great country to improve the mental health of all Australians. It seems we still have a long way to go to achieve that.

I have personally benefitted from therapy and counselling throughout my adult life and feel passionate about making these services more widespread and available to more Australians.

One of the things I’ve noticed across the last 13 years working as a counsellor and psychotherapist is many people feel a stigma in seeking professional help. I think this perception is slowly changing, but it’s still widespread.

There are a lot of myths that perpetuate this idea. Some of the most common ones I’ve heard include:

  • Only crazy people go to therapy
  • If you can’t work it out yourself, it can’t be worked out
  • Only weak people ask for help
  • You have to be in crisis to go to therapy

Those are just a few myths among many.

The sad thing is these myths about counselling and therapy may stop you from seeking the professional support you need in overcoming mental health issues and life challenges getting in the way of you leading a full, rewarding and rich life.

So for World Mental Health Day 2015, I would like to start a few new ideas we can spread about therapy and counselling:

  • Only people who want to live full and rewarding lives go to therapy
  • Asking for professional help is a sign of strength
  • Therapy is something smart and wise people do to improve the quality of their life
  • Therapy is helpful and applicable at many different times throughout a person’s life

So help me in spreading the word about the benefits of counselling and therapy. And if you’ve been to therapy, share with your friends and family how beneficial it has been to you and your life.

Together, we can reduce the stigma of asking for help and make Australia and the world a place where everyone deserves good mental health.

If you’re looking for a counsellor or psychotherapist in your local area, search Australia Counselling to find a professional counsellor in your local area.