Battling the Stigma of Mental Health Services for Healthcare Professionals

Mental health services for healthcare professionals can be a hot-button topic. The stigma behind mental health for the layperson is bad enough. But factor in a degree in healthcare, and it is almost as though these professionals are expected to be healthy in all facets of their lives.

That is simply an unrealistic expectation to place on anyone. People struggle, whether it be physically or mentally. These problems are not exclusive to those who do not have a degree in the healthcare industry. These professionals also struggle, and those struggles seem to be becoming more prevalent with recent world health concerns.

Struggles Healthcare Professionals Face

The struggles that healthcare professionals face can be overwhelming. Whether it be a medical doctor, a nurse, a therapist or a counselor, the struggles are still affecting them as they would a person with a profession outside of this field. Mental health services are available to them just as they are available to others, but there is some ill-conceived notion that these professionals cannot seek help, because it will mean they compromised their capabilities. This is simply not true.

Like anyone, those in the healthcare industry face struggles on a daily basis—stress on the job, stress at home, depression, trauma or anxiety. All of these are struggles faced by millions of people daily, and healthcare professionals are no different. With the onset and continuation of the global health crisis, COVID-19, healthcare professionals have had an onslaught of public scrutiny, only adding to the need for mental health services for healthcare professionals.

According to a study, the overall well-being of physicians is at a low. This extends outside of medical professionals and into all facets of the industry, including mental health professionals. With the fear and worry that has been gripping the nation, mental health providers are not immune to these mental health concerns that should be treated. But what makes the stigma so prevalent when it comes to mental health services for healthcare providers?

Why is There a Stigma Behind Getting Help?

One of the biggest barriers to seeking mental health services for healthcare providers is the stigma in the workplace. The healthcare industry is such a competitive field that someone could feel like if they sought out mental health services or help, that it could affect their career. That is just not factual. Someone who is struggling and seeks help is not incapable of doing the work someone trained them to do. 

Another contributing factor is unrealistic standards. Healthcare professionals tend to hold themselves to a standard of perfection. This means that if healthcare professionals sought mental health services for themselves, they are not living up to their standards. If something is wrong, they are not strong enough to do the job.

Mental health is not a weakness. In fact, it is a struggle faced by countless Americans on a daily basis, and addressing these concerns can be a matter of life and death for some. Lastly, ignorance of reality contributes to the stigma behind mental health services.

Oftentimes, healthcare professionals who notice something remain quiet. This may be due to lack of interest, or due to remaining neutral. Regardless of the reasoning, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away, and it contributes to the lack of support for those who need it most. 

Factors of a Supportive Environment for Healthcare Professionals

Creating a supportive environment can make all the difference. A space where seeking mental health services for healthcare professionals is not only accepted but encouraged. Some factors that should be included in creating this environment include:

  • Discussions: allow for those who are struggling to feel like they can freely talk about the issues they have going on concerning mental health. Being open and honest can help to alleviate some of the stigma surrounding mental health services for healthcare professionals.
  • Awareness: being aware of the signs of struggle can help when it comes to needing mental health services for healthcare professionals. Being able to identify these signs can assist in encouraging getting help.
  • Asking: if there is a noticeable change, or someone is struggling simply asking what they need, are they okay, can anything be done to alleviate the problems can be extremely helpful.

Find Healing At Ambrosia 

As healthcare professionals, there is a thought process that everything has to be okay, or they can compromise their professional abilities. This is untrue. All people have problems, and when it comes to addressing those problems and getting help for them, there should be no ill-conceived notions behind it. Help can be necessary sometimes. At Ambrosia, we help those who need it. We strive to offer a safe place to find healing and grow through the trials and tribulations someone may be facing.

Reach out today, and begin the process of healing and growing into a healthier life. 

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