Four Ways Therapy Improves Your Mental Health

by Amber Helsel

After years of working through mental health challenges, I’m a huge advocate for anyone of any age going to therapy. It greatly improved my ability to navigate anxiety, depression, and other challenges, and I’m hoping it can help you too. This is part 2 of a 2-part series about the power of therapy.

August of this year will mark 6 years since I started therapy. After going to sessions for years, my mental health has greatly improved. Here are four ways therapy can help improve your mental health too.

Increased Self-Awareness: Therapy provides a safe space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Through having an unbiased person to talk things over with, therapy greatly increased my knowledge of self. We explored my trauma, what triggers it, and how to manage it. We explored my depression and anxiety and in recent years have delved into even deeper issues that have overhauled how I live my life and see myself.

Development of Coping Mechanisms: Many people struggle with unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse, self-harm, or in my case, distracting myself with pretty much anything else so I don’t have to deal with the hard things. Therapy can equip you with healthy tools to manage stress, anxiety, and difficult emotions. Therapy gave me strategies to cope with my mental health issues and the language to advocate for myself and my mental health.

Improved Problem-Solving Skills: Problem-solving is probably one of my greatest skills, but that doesn’t mean I’m great at all types of problem-solving. When it comes to the difficult parts of life, my natural tendency is to avoid the issue at all costs. If it were up to me, I’d bury my head in the sand and wait for the problem to pass. Therapy gave me the courage and the knowledge to be able to face those problems head-on.

Challenging Negative Thought Patterns: Our thoughts have a significant impact on our mental well-being. Through therapy, I learned to challenge these negative thoughts and replace them with more realistic and helpful ones. I still have a long way to go, but if you knew me before 2018, you’d know how much of a difference therapy has made.

Therapy isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s a powerful tool for building the skills and self-awareness you need to thrive. If you’re looking to improve your mental health, consider giving therapy a try. It might just change your life, like it did mine.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, prioritize your mental well-being and explore available resources. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America offer toolkits, support groups, and helplines. Don’t hesitate to reach out—you deserve to feel your best. Also, find community resources and services here. Keep up with our trainings and sign up for a future Mental Health First Aid training here

National Public Health Week: Empowering Youth for a Healthy Future

This week, we celebrate National Public Health Week! Here at Teen Health Mississippi, we are dedicated to ensuring youth and young adults (YYA) have the resources they need to make decisions for their health and well-being. This National Public Health Week, we want to empower you, the trusted adults in their lives, to be champions alongside YYA for their well-being.

The theme for 2024, “Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health,” highlights the importance of building healthy communities. YYA are a vital part of that community, and their well-being is paramount.

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: How You Can Help

“Man up! Boys don’t cry!”

 “Wipe your face. You’re a strong black woman. You’ll be fine.”

“Stop acting bipolar.”

“There’s nothing wrong with you. You just want attention.”

“People are gonna think you’re loco/crazy if you keep acting like that.”

Have you ever found yourself saying or hearing any of the above phrases or something similar? These are all phrases that cause stigma around mental health. July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This month Teen Health Mississippi wants to highlight ways to combat mental health stigma and bring awareness to mental health services and resources.