Just Do It! Three words that launched a nation of athletes in the 1980’s to get off the couch, lace up their sneakers and head to the gym. With Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and other famous athletes as motivation, how could you not! Imagine though, if these same athletes were promoting mental health awareness and treatment, leading us to the therapist’s couch. When I was growing up, there was little open discussion about mental health. It was very sub rosa and misunderstood. Today, this is no longer the case. Even Oprah and Prince Harry are openly discussing mental health and hoping to demystify and destigmatize mental health treatment through their upcoming documentary series to air on the new Apple TV platform. Bravo to both of them for putting it front and center!
With rapidly rising rates in depression, anxiety and suicide in adolescents, college students and other segments of the population, there are indications of a national epidemic. Indeed, we are working hard to understand, diagnose and treat millions of individuals and families who are impacted by mental health conditions and challenges. While on the surface it feels like we are making great strides, there are still millions of Americans who are not getting the treatment they need. According to Mental Health America (MHA) one out of every five individuals who needs or could benefit from treatment, does not receive it. This is a substantial percentage. For some, there are financial considerations, cultural obstacles and physical barriers that make it difficult to get help. For others, though, there can be feelings of shame and embarrassment in acknowledging and seeking help. While we are trying to address all of these obstacles, we have a long way to go. I think the stigma and discrimination that exists is very real.
One of the reasons I believe people will love Pace of Mind therapy is that it gives individuals an opportunity to get psychotherapy in a new and perhaps less threatening environment. Who does not love being outdoors and moving, feeling endorphins charge through you? This alone can help you feel more relaxed and receptive to trying therapy and opening up. For those who have been in therapy, trying a different approach may be just what you are looking for and maybe didn’t even know!
So, lace up your sneakers and whether we walk or run, I hope you will join me for some outdoor talk therapy.
Just do it!