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Why is it that lots of people are so reluctant to talk about mental health? We talk about all sorts of health without being in the least bit uncomfortable.  It’s easy to talk about heart health and being on a medication to lower cholesterol, or digestive health and taking medicine to manage indigestion. People seem quite comfortable talking about physical therapy to strengthen their back after an accident or their leg after an injury.

But somehow, we act as if mental health is different. Physical therapy to build up a muscle is fine…. but talk therapy to build up resilience and better manage stress, is not.  If you think about it, that’s actually really odd and doesn’t make a lot of sense.

This stigma around mental health keeps people from getting help and feeling better. We don’t tell someone having chest pain to “suck it up,” we get them to a doctor. But often we tell people having emotional pain or high stress to “snap out of it” and don’t encourage them to get the care and support that would help them.

So here is a radical idea. Every time you hear someone minimizing the discomfort of stress or emotional distress (and if you catch yourself thinking it as well), just say out loud “The brain is an organ of the body.” 

Your brain, where stress and difficult emotions begin, is just another part of your body. It’s ok to take care of your brain, just like it’s ok to take care of your heart or your kidneys. No shame, no blame.

Let’s decrease the stigma of asking for help with mental health. Whether it’s asking for support from a trusted friend, your family doctor, or a counselor, it’s all ok. It’s just another part of health. 

Stay healthy everyone. Keep thriving!

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