What can good mental health mean?
Valeria A. Nowack, LMHC, MPA – CEO Harmonia Collaborative Care
May 5, 2020

What can it mean to our families? To our friends? To our communities? To each of us, personally?
Good mental health can mean we can participate in the present. We can share with our families and friends the joy of the moment. We can support our communities by giving to others.
Good mental health is liberating. It allows us to have the space to be productive and engaged in our lives.
Sounds appealing, right?
Stress, anxiety and depression can make us captives of our poor mental health. One in five adults in the United States suffers from a mental illness. Many people silently struggle because of the associated stigma. That is because our society teaches us that physical illness is something that happens “to” us, where mental illness happens “because” of us. It is some moral failing or feebleness of character that drives it; and, this deeply ingrained belief is simply wrong.
Stigma is the birth-child of judgement and fear. It divides and segregates. It prevents many from seeking help; it prevents others from accepting their own flaws and struggles. Stigma is the enemy of mental-wellness.
The stigma associated with poor mental health doesn’t have to make us it’s prisoner. The Eagles’, in their iconic “Already Gone” song lyrics write, “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.”
Only you hold the key to improving your mental wellness. Sometimes we just need help turning that key. Opening the door to good mental health can release you from the chains that keep you from the things you value. It starts with reaching out for mental health counseling. Now, with tele-therapy, you do not have to leave your home. You can work with a licensed counselor to begin the process of setting you on the right path to wellness.
A mental health counselor can help you learn the skills you need to deal with stress and uncertainty and minimize anxiety and depression. Our counselors have many tools in their toolboxes. Resources and information on therapeutic treatments offered by Harmonia’s clinical team are available here https://harmonia-care.org/resources#treatments.
What can you expect when seeking mental health counseling?

Your journey begins with a call, or a visit to one of our facilities where our front office staff will ask you a few questions which will assist your therapist to begin the process when you meet.

During your first one to three visits, your therapist will assess your situation; meaning they will try to get a picture of what might be causing you distress. It may seem like a lot of questions, but this will help your therapist design your treatment. During this time, you and your therapist will also work together to start to develop your goals for treatment.

What if you don’t feel your therapist is a good fit? No problem! We can always match you with another therapist (although selection may be limited depending on your health insurance). Don’t hesitate to ask for a transfer—a therapeutic alliance with your counselor has been proven to lead to better outcomes. Just remember, counseling isn’t always comfortable. Your therapist may challenge you at times. Don’t mistake this as a bad therapeutic match. If your counselor never challenges you, they may be enabling you to stay the same, and you are here to make a change!

The length of time you spend in treatment, as well as how often you come to treatment, depends on a number of factors. Typically, as you improve, the less frequent treatment will be. The more skills you learn and the healthier you become, the less you will need your therapist. This is the ultimate goal!

We encourage you to take the step now to improve your mental wellness. Remember life can have balance.
Harmonia Colaborative Care is a NYS licensed non-profit organization providing behavioral health, Health Home and senior care services to foster an individual’s independence and improve their quality of life.