How Psychology Helps

July 31st, 2013

Welcome to my first blog post…Thank you for reading. This blog will explore mental health, relationships, and sport from a psychological perspective.

I recently learned that forty-nine percent of people suffering from anxiety or depression do not seek treatment  (Canadian Mental Health Association). Forty-nine percent is a staggeringly high figure.

Why don’t more people get help when they are suffering from a mental illness? One explanation is that the mental illness itself is a barrier. For example, some people may be too depressed to take action or too anxious to make an appointment. Another explanation for people not seeking treatment is that there is still a stigma about suffering from a mental illness and getting psychological help.

With nearly half of the people who need psychological treatment not seeking it, I think we can all be better advocates of psychology. If you see a friend, colleague, or loved one suffering from psychological issues, let them know that they are not alone. Tell them that one in five Canadians will suffer a mental illness in their lifetime. Share a story about yourself or someone else you know with a mental health issue. Express that you are concerned about their health. Explain that psychologists can help.

Psychologists help people primarily by assessing and treating mental health issues. A psychological assessment is a thorough evaluation of a person’s symptoms, impairments, and areas of resilience. It includes an interview, testing, and feedback. A psychological assessment provides a diagnosis (if appropriate) and recommendations for treatment. Psychological treatment, or psychotherapy, involves regular meetings with a psychologist. Psychotherapy can be short-term (weeks or months) or long-term (years), depending on the person’s issues, goals, and progress in treatment. Psychotherapy helps by providing relief of symptoms, clarity, and skills for handling current and future issues.

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Did you know…

One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

 

A psychologist can help.

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