Hello everyone! I want to write this post to talk about the importance of counselling and how important that can be.
When I was in school a few years ago, I experienced some truly overwhelming thoughts about myself, my future and my life in general. Yet, unfortunately, I never spoke to a counsellor. Admittedly, I should have but at my school there was a huge huge stigma surrounding it. Some people can walk into a counsellor’s office with ease, but others don’t fully understand the importance of it, and what it’s all about – especially the younger ones. Some kids throw around phrases like “I’m depressed” because they don’t understand the implication that comes with it.
I personally believe that every single student in the world should be educated about mental health and wellbeing. It might not be interesting and significant to everyone at any given point in their lives, but mental health affects each of us throughout life. Instead of telling children right from kindergarten that they have to get top marks, be the best, etc., they should be told that feeling sad or upset is normal and should never make you feel different. Now I am fully aware that counselling may not suit everyone and that’s fine, but I think students should have the opportunity to try it without fear of judgement or bullying from their friends. If students were taught when they were younger perhaps that it is okay to ask for help – that it is normal and there is nothing wrong with it – then in the future, they might find the process of asking for help easier.
Someone once asked me whether counsellors could be replaced with robots in the future. I find that difficult to imagine, as the true significance of counselling lies in the connection you form with someone over time, and the ability to gain their trust to the point where they feel comfortable with telling you whatever is on their mind. I am striving to be a counsellor in the future and I genuinely believe that the key to reducing stress among teenagers (apart from reducing exam pressures from peers, teachers, parents and society) is to teach them from a young age about their emotions and that it’s normal (and okay) to feel a range of emotions.
I’m sharing these thoughts because I think it’s important to do something, to take that first step to change how our generation views mental health, so we can impact the generations after us. If we don’t do anything, no one will. Change has to start from within, and we can use our informed attitudes to support others and destigmatize mental health!