Breaking the stigma on mental health services

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – With May being mental health awareness month, breaking the stigma on seeking help for mental health issues is important. 

Maggie Buckley, a licensed clinical social worker at Southeast Behavioral Health, says a lot of people feel as if they need to have a severe mental health issue in order to seek services, but she wants them to know that’s not the case.  

“Some people can benefit from learning how to cope with their underlying depression or anxiety some people are just needing to get through a tough time in life maybe a recent loss grief and then,” said Buckley.  

Therapy and counseling can help people cope with depression and other mental health issues.  

But breaking the stigma of seeking this help is the challenge Maggie and other mental health professionals face.   

“The younger generation (even under 30) are more likely to seek mental health services right now,” said Buckley “That is because of the work we’ve done in changing the perception of mental health services.” 

The idea of receiving mental health services is usually frowned upon in certain groups, with women being more likely than men to seek and receive services.  

According to Discovery Mood and Anxiety, 25-percent of African Americans seek treatment for a mental health issue, compared to 40 percent of white individuals. 

“Men sometimes or maybe a little bit less likely to seek mental health care than women because they’re supposed to be strong or tough and deal with their issues without having any external help,” said Buckley. 

With a greater emphasis being placed on the importance of focusing on mental health, bringing to light the benefits of seeking help is important as well as making services more accessible to those who may need them. 

“So, they don’t want to be seen outside they you know in the community by others and they can be served from the comfort of their own home with telehealth services and hopefully those are the kinds of patients that we can reach more in the future,” said Buckley. 

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