The American Counseling Association (ACA) recognizes April as Counseling Awareness Month (CAM) to acknowledge the work of counselors across the nation. This month is meant to spread awareness about the benefits of counseling and work to destigmatize it. According to the ACA, over 665,500 counselors are working in diverse settings, such as schools, agencies, private practices, clinics, and counseling centers throughout the nation. Rose Hill Center provides counseling in Michigan for various mental health disorders, from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia and personality disorder treatment.
At Rose Hill Center, we are proud advocates of all mental health awareness initiatives, including Counseling Awareness Month. As advocates, we are committed to spreading awareness, shattering stereotypes, and providing hope and healing for individuals impacted by mental health disorders and their families. Call us at 866.367.0220 to learn more about counseling in Michigan and how you can advocate for mental health.
Why Is National Counseling Awareness Important?
The American Counseling Association (ACA), the world’s largest association of professional counselors, defines counseling as a professional relationship. It empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. Through counseling, clients can work through issues that impact functioning in all areas of daily living.
Statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) show that one in five American adults experience mental illness, and one in twenty experience severe mental illness. However, more than half of these individuals do not seek the treatment they need and deserve. Untreated mental illness has devastating effects on individuals, families, communities, and society.
National Counseling Awareness month and other initiatives that aim to increase awareness and educate the general public are vital to helping overcome the stigma attached to seeking help. The fundamental goal of counseling is to help people lead more fulfilling and productive lives. Some of the ways counseling does is include assisting people to:
- Adjust to significant life changes like divorce, losing a loved one, unemployment, or returning from military deployment
- Overcome and manage mental health disorders
- Develop skills and strategies for addressing personal and interpersonal challenges at home, work, school, or social settings
- Recognize and modify maladaptive behaviors that detract from well-being or quality of life
- Define career, life, wellness, and personal goals and the strategies required to meet those goals
Mental health counselors are professionals with rigorous education and training who must meet specific credentials to become licensed. However, you do not need to be a licensed counselor to be a mental health advocate.
Tips on Being a Mental Health Advocate
Becoming a mental health advocate starts with taking steps to ensure your mental well-being. Anxiety, stress, depression, substance use disorders, and other mental health disorders have become so widespread that many believe they are a normal part of daily life and that treatment is unnecessary. Still, others think they’re not sick enough to warrant getting help. However, untreated mental health symptoms typically get worse over time. It is always best to seek help sooner than later.
Improving your mental health is often a catalyst to becoming a mental health advocate. Receiving the treatment and support you need can give you the insight, information, and desire to see others around you feel better. Each person who benefits from mental health treatment can help dispel the myths, stereotypes, and stigma associated with it.
Besides talking with a counselor yourself, the following are tips on being a mental health advocate:
- Speak up about mental health issues
- Volunteer your time to help others in need
- Join a mental health organization or advocacy group
- Vote to improve laws on mental health and treatment
- Educate yourself about mental health issues, stigmas, and obstacles to treatment
- Share your mental health story with others
- Help promote the availability of mental health resources
Mental health advocates give a voice to those who might not otherwise have one. There are no credentials necessary to become a mental health advocate except for the desire to help.
Seek Counseling in Michigan at Rose Hill Center
Millions of people in the United States battle mental health disorders, yet less than half receive the treatment. Initiatives like National Counseling Awareness month are helping to destigmatize mental illness. Mental health advocacy is necessary to help those in need and encourage them to seek treatment.
If you or a loved one needs a counseling center in Michigan, Rose Hill Center is here to help. Mental health advocacy begins with yourself. Contact us online or by calling 866.367.0220.