“It’s a sign of strength to put your hand out and ask for help, whether it’s a friend or a professional or whatever.”- Bruce Springfield
I cannot ask for help because someone will think that I am weak. I cannot shed tears because crying is a sign of weakness. If I let you know that I am asking the question of why, is my faith not strong enough. What has perpetuated this fallacy? Who continues to feed these lies?
As a counselor, you would think that I would not buy into this fallacy. I have found myself believing these lies along with some of my other colleagues. How many times have we put our own well-being to the side because we did not want someone to say, you are not strong enough? Or that if I tell someone that I am not 100% myself, they will think that I am weak or not a good enough therapist. Counselors are not the only profession that fall for this fallacy.
Helping Professionals, certain racial and ethnic groups, genders, religious groups, etc. are inundated with the lie that if you ask for help or reach out for support, you are not strong. Over the past 6-8 months, there have been more reports in the news of ministers completing suicide. Last week a situation hit close to home when therapist/minister became a statistic. The question has been asked as to why. The answer is not coming but the conversations are being held.
As a Professional Counselor and a Christian, I have found myself in a position of sounding the alarm about mental illness and the importance of self-care. I want to tear down and eliminate the lie (deception) that seeking out professional help is not a sound of weakness but a sign of strength. Last month my pastor @JosephWalker3 addressed dealing with depression in a brief 32 minute Bible Study lesson. What can mental health professional do to help the faith based (Church) community become aware about mental health and mental illness?
If you seek out help from a medical doctor for a pain in your physical body or a dentist when we have a tooth ache, then it is important to seek out help from a professional when the pain is in your heart and spirit. This is a call to take care of your mental health through self-care by working to alleviate stress as a preventative measure. If you are a helping professional (counselor, teacher, pastor, nurse, doctor, etc.), I am requesting that you take the time to take care of self by finding a safe person to talk to on a regular because the work that we do is critical.