Today is World Mental Health Day. And we all know that mental health is never easy to talk about. So today, I’m proud to give a shout out to one of my associates Blythe Chong who is doing great stuff in this space through her social enterprise Our Journey.
At Our Journey, they aim to empower people through inspiring hope. In light of World Mental Health Day, they want to shine a light on people that have experienced challenges with their mental health. The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.
Today, here are two brave souls that were willing to share their experience and journey, here are their stories:
A daughter, wife, sister, teacher and friend.
Shermaine was diagnosed with depression and general anxiety disorder in March 2018. She could not see a way out. Her belief that she could not improve her situation completely blinded her. She constantly felt that she had to put on a happy face. Whether it was for the sake of her students or for those around her, she constantly felt unhappy.
Being passionate about her job, Shermaine felt like something was off when she started to dread work, and the thought of having to go to work upset her. She then decided to seek help and found solace in counselling.
“I was crying a lot as well then, and my relationship with others deteriorated- my journey to discovery involved a lot of help and support from the people around me. They were willing to lend an ear to me, and simply sat by my side to listen to what I had to share. It also consisted of a lot of changes in the way I perceive a lot of things, including correcting some of the negative self-talk I had.”
Many people are ashamed to seek help. Shermaine hopes that through her sharing, people stop trivialising their challenges.
“It’s important to understand that even if it is a small challenge, if it sits on our mind for too long, it may affect the way we think. It’s better to speak to someone else about them so that we can process our thoughts and feelings more clearly.”
Today Shermaine still feels anxious when she faces new challenges. But, with the help of counselling, she has learnt to better process her emotions. She reminds herself that they can all be solved, and she talks to family and friends to get supported.
We hope that you feel empowered by Shermaine’s story.
The next story details the life of their client who prefers to remain anonymous. She is a single lady in her 50s and has recurrent challenges when it comes to managing her mental health. She described herself as a “walking zombie” only choosing to seek help after much encouragement from a close friend.
She describes her previous experience with seeking mental health help as both a good and bad experience. She has been on prescription medication before. Her experience with counselling has been her third attempt to seek help in 21 years.
“However, my experience with Our Journey has been transformational”
By choosing to get counselling, she feels like she is confiding in a friend. Being able to openly share her thoughts without judgement has been very helpful for her.
“Counselling has allowed me to explore my thoughts deeper with guidance. The counsellors embrace and do not judge us for what we say. They take the time to understand and we can trust them to not reveal what we’ve shared.”
Through her steady progress, she is now able to breathe and is ready to conquer her fears.
Recovery is a personal journey with the goals of hope, empowerment and autonomy. And for many people with mental health challenges, recovery is often possible.
Many factors contribute to recovery, including having a good support system of people that you like, respect and trust.
We hope that by sharing their stories, it will encourage someone to seek help and bring more awareness to the issues surrounding mental health.
We understand that mental health wellness can get costly, especially with private counselling.
Our Journey is a social enterprise and they provide subsidised rates for counselling. Should you need additional help regarding this, do feel free to check their website out.
So take care friends and be well!