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Therapist encourages talking successes for this Mental Health Week

A licensed therapist wants people to talk about mental health successes for this year’s Mental Health week.

Mental health week is a yearly event that celebrates and raises awareness of mental health’s importance. According to the Canadian Mental Health association, 17 percent of BCers are experiencing a mental illness, with 84,000 children and youth having a diagnosed disorder.

Therapist Rick Berghauser of Rick Berghauser & Associates counselling services says for the last five years, there has been a movement towards accepting seeking help.

“For so long it was something that people really avoided, the stigma of it is still there, but it was so much more a few years ago,” said Berghauser.

“It seems like every year I see more and more people that are open to letting people know that they have had some struggles, some difficulties and are willing to get the help they need.”

Berghauser says through his 30-year career, he has seen more openness to talk about mental health, with the largest change being from men.

“I think for way too long men were very apprehensive to discuss any difficulties with their mental health, out of fear that they would be ostracized, they would lose their jobs, lose friends, partners,” said Berghauser.

“I’ve really noticed a shift in the last little while with men being much more open to seeking counselling, other supports, and talking about mental health in general.”

While there has been more openness and acceptance to seeking help, Berghauser says issues such as the cost of therapy, the stigma towards seeking help, and time prevents people from getting the help they need.

For this week, he encourages you to not only talk about the problems of mental health but also the successes, including going out, eating well, spending time in nature or with other people.

“It would be wonderful if in a few years from now, we had it so if someone was ready and willing today, they can enter something today.”

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