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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What do Lady Gaga and Princes William and Harry Have in Common?

By Beth Healey, Director of Development and Marketing

In case you haven’t heard the story yet, here’s the short version: TALK about your mental and
emotional health issues and GET HELP—there's no shame in it!

Samaritan Counseling Center of Western Pennsylvania applauds Gaga, Princes William and Harry and other renowned people who publically advocate for erasing the mental health stigma. Concerns such as Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive, Bipolar and many other disorders are serious—and treatable—but certainly not shameful. Our minds can become ill just as our bodies do, yet we don’t mind talking about nor seeking treatment for physical illness.

When folks like Lady Gaga (who struggles with PTSD) exhibit courage and forthrightness about their illnesses, it also illustrates that mental problems do not discriminate. People with fame and fortune are no less vulnerable than any of us. Prince Harry revealed that the death of his mother, Princess Diana, deeply and painfully affected him for years. He says he “shut down his emotions for 20 years.” At the urging of his brother William, not only did he finally reach out for help, but he also advocates for others to do the same.

Being well is not limited to physical health. The brain is the control center for our bodies, minds and emotions. These dimensions of ourselves affect the totality of who we are. A lung can collapse…a bone can be broken…a mind can become impaired. We are not wholly healthy when we ignore a problem, whether it be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
We’ve come a long way to eradicate the mental health stigma, but we still have far to go. The only way we’re going to succeed is by continuing to speak out, get help for ourselves when we need it and encourage others to do the same.

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