In terms of health care, we have it pretty good. If you are unfortunately diagnosed with cancer, most, if not all of your treatment will be paid for. If you break your leg, you can go to the ER and get a cast and leave without a bill. If you require surgery, the government will pay for that too. But what if your issue isn't physical? What if what's holding you back in life is a mental concern? Well, then you're kind of out of luck.
When you teach your child "calm breathing," you are using a technique that works to slow down his/her breathing, combating upset, stressed and anxious feelings. Teaching a child to use calm breathing to regulate their emotions is important because it shows them how to change their breathing to minimize the effects of their emotions.
It is my belief that good counselling can provide a much-needed service in our modern world, but therapy needs to grow and adapt with the times. We have a society filled with very busy, potentially stressed people who want concrete results and some who still fear being stigmatized by seeking therapy or having to go to the "head shrinker."
You've heard of the recent attacks on women's healthcare in the States, but in Canada, we're feeling the impact too. For 50 years, Planned Parenthood Ottawa has been there for our community, providing unbiased counselling, education, advice and support. But it's become increasingly hard to do our work. Planned Parenthood is under attack, by people who oppose healthcare for women and the trans community, who don't want youth to get the education they need, and who dedicate themselves to cutting our funding every way they can.
In Canada, I quickly realized, depression is one of the only life-threatening illnesses that you have to be rich to get proper treatment for. Since 1961, Canadians have taken care of our neighbours, our family, and our friends if they have illnesses like heart disease, or diabetes. But if they're suicidal or depressed? We've basically said tough luck -- deal with it yourself. This while more people are actually suffer from mental health issues each year then heart disease and diabetes combined.
University is stressful and students can develop mental health disorders at this time. In fact, the majority of these disorders tend to develop around this age group. Getting help early on for mental health problems is always a good idea. For example, it is ideal to prevent problematic shyness from becoming Social Anxiety Disorder and normal sadness from becoming clinical depression.
Since the Sandy Hook shootings, there seems to be a popular mantra that we need better and easier access to quality mental-health care.This is probably a true statement, yet it seems to me we may be avoiding a difficult truth: There are limits to what mental-health treatment can do. The recent story about disturbing violent offender Kayla Bourque, and the court's requirement for her to receive counselling as part of her release from jail, brings this to the fore. The idea that someone with problems as deep-seated as Bourque's can be "cured" by dropping in for sessions at a clinic for a few years is pretty far-fetched.
In many cases, couples' counselling can be the final nail in the marital coffin. Why? Because counselling is a practice that focuses on the self. This "all about me," approach is the precise opposite of what struggling spouses need to save a marriage in crisis. It's naïve to think that an individual's personal experience with marriage doesn't factor into the relationship advice they dispense.