From Cassidy’s Couch: October 2021 #4

Mental Health Wins of 2021

“If we allow ourselves the space to focus on the progress being made in the field of mental health, it’s not too difficult to find a silver lining on this dark cloud of a year.” – Lo Styx 

This week I’d like to share an article written by Lo Styx published on the Verywell Mind website. Verywell Mind is an award-winning resource that shares reliable and up-to-date information on mental health topics written, fact-checked, and reviewed by mental health professionals. 

This article celebrates some advancements made in the field of mental health in 2021. In amongst the stress and hardship that the world has collectively experienced this year it is a welcome shift to focus on mental health wins and feels particularly important as we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month to take a look at how far we’ve come.

Athletes are more than their medals

A huge win for mental health this year was within the world of sports with superstar gymnast Simone Biles and tennis champion Naomi Osaka both making the choice to put their mental health ahead of their careers despite facing near-insufferable amounts of scrutiny from the public. Their decisions put mental health front and center on a grand stage reminding everyone that it is okay to not be okay.

The power of shared experience

While the stress of the pandemic is not positive overall, we can take something constructive away from it: shared experience. We have certainly not been alone in our struggles. The idea that there are some things that are universal to the human experience results in greater levels of acceptance. People are becoming a lot more understanding of what trauma is and how it impacts people. There is more ability to relate and less brushing aside of people’s experiences.

Embracing online therapy

Electronically delivered therapy has decreased some of the barriers to mental health care. Virtual therapy isn’t perfect and there are still limitations as a result of a number of other barriers, particularly in a country like South Africa. But, it is an improvement on accessibility to mental health care and is opening up conversations about working towards making therapy less exclusive.

An injection of hope

A big indirect win for mental health was the introduction of a Covid-19 vaccine that lead to a collective sigh of relief. It gave the opportunity for people to enjoy some semblance of what life looked like pre-lockdown with lockdown restrictions lifting and some levels of freedom returning. We are far from out of the woods when it comes to the pandemic but it’s important to focus on the wins that have given us something to hope for. With the vaccine rollout opening up for 12 – 17 year olds in South Africa, this is a very good time to really think about what that hope means for you and how you can be a part of creating hope for yourself as well as those around you. Discuss this with your parents, trusted adults, and especially medical professionals to make sure that you are accessing accurate information. 

Check out the full article at this link HERE

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