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The Importance of Mental Health

Mental health counselor shares her thoughts with us on mental health and counseling

Published in the February 2023 Issue Published online: Feb 07, 2023 Health & Wellness IFM Staff
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 Mental health is our emotional, psychological and social well beings. It is at the root of everything in our lives, affecting how we feel, think and act. The importance of nurturing our mental health is just as important, if not more, as nurturing our physical health.

Raising awareness about mental health means a lot to mental health professionals like Timmie John, mental health counselor at Harmony Counseling Services.

“Mental health is everything in our life,” Timmie said. “It’s the way we think, the way we interact with others, the way we care for our health and all of those things interact to help us feel and think and interact our best.”

Since 2006, Timmie has dedicated her career to helping others improve their mental health through her work as a mental health counselor. She describes her role as a counselor as someone who helps people understand their mental health symptoms and helps them feel better. Her area of expertise is in cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.

One of the most common types of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, is the practice of becoming aware of your thoughts and how they impact how you feel. “Learning to create that awareness allows you to be the driver of how you feel,” Timmie said.

Counseling is when a trained professional and a client work together to resolve challenges or conflicts. Typically someone seeks counseling to receive guidance in resolving emotional or mental challenges to live a more fulfilled life.

Attending counseling is beneficial to individuals, families and couples to better understand their thoughts and feelings. “The benefits of counseling are countless,” Timmie emphasized. “It can allow you to feel happier, to be able to interact better in our social settings and with our friends, families and peers.”

Counseling benefits both those dealing with mental illnesses and those who want to gain skills for everyday life. Timmie explains that the goals of counseling differ for every person. “When they come in for the first time, they create goals based upon what their circumstances are and what they want out of life,” Timmie said.

Mental health is important for maintaining balance in our lives. A good mental health improves our self-esteem, our relationships and overall, our satisfaction out of life. Poor mental health, on the other hand, can have undesired effects such as irritability or an inability to sleep. The benefits of counseling can improve mental health and reduce the symptoms of poor mental health.

The stigma around mental health often prevents us from seeking counseling but the benefits outweigh any fears we may have. “I think a lot of people are scared of counseling or the stigma that comes along with it,” Timmie said.

While therapy still has not been completely normalized by society, the stigma continues to exist. Normalizing therapy means recognizing it can benefit anyone. Timmie’s education and years of experience have given her the confidence to help individuals of all backgrounds and ages.

“I really wish in our society that we could overcome that stigma and realize that we are all our mental health,” Timmie said. “We all need to help each other and be compassionate towards each other as we go through life.”

Resources are always available to us for our mental health anytime we need them. Taking care of our mental health is the best gift we can give to ourselves.

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