Seeing a psychologist

Seeing a psychologist

Mental Health Awareness Month has indeed generated a lot of talk about mental health related issues among the layperson and professions alike. All of which we should be highly grateful for, considering the amount of stigma and resistance mental health issues are met with in Namibia, and other countries worldwide alike.

Why exactly it is that we are still hesitant to address these concerns and speak openly about them, could keep you and I both busy for quite some time. But that would not be the point of this article. Let us rather focus our energy on addressing an issue which haunts us all: seeing the dentist. 

Yes, indeed. We are all well aware of that dreadful dentist appointment. The anxiety, the anticipation, the A-G-O-N-Y of being seated in the consulting room of a dentist. There are a lot more pleasant things I could think of right about now. Yet most of us would agree that dentist visits are vital to our oral health and physical health in the greater scheme of things. Which got me thinking, if in the name of good health we would bear not only dentist appointments, but a whole range of other medical interventions and procedures as well; why would we not do the same for our mental health then?

Once again the answer to that question would entail a lengthy discussion, but if I had to be a betting woman I would say it has a little something to do with the above mentioned stigma we discussed. As part of our Capacity Trust mental health awareness program we hope to address some of the stigmas surrounding mental health issues. And in this instance it would mean addressing the stigma attached to seeking help from a mental health professional.

It is in fact true that with in Namibia there are a wide range of mental health professionals with different areas of specialities and different scopes of practice. All the more why the general public should be encouraged to seek out a professional which could best address their individual needs. Consulting with a mental health professional does not instantaneously diagnose you with a mental disorder or bring your mental health into a questionable position as popularly believed.  Mental health practitioners are governed by regulatory bodies which have clear demarcations around the issues of mental health which are in place to protect you, the public. And all practitioners should at all times try and best comply with these codes of conduct. Hence when seeking out the help of a mental health professional, should the person have the correct credentials and is registered with the appropriate national governing bodies, you should be in safe hands.

Seeing a mental health professional can range from anything between coping with life stressors to more serious instances of clinical concerns. Thus why I point out the importance of finding a practitioner that would best be able to assist in your needs. Should I practitioner feel that he or she could not give you the proper care, a referral is always another option.

To find a practitioner in Namibia nearest to you I would recommend consulting with the Psychological Association of Namibia, otherwise known as PAN. Or with the Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA). See links below.

Here’s to you in mental health!

To get in contact with either PAN or the HPCNA, follow the links below:

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A comprehensive meta-analysis of the relationship between Emotional Intelligence and health was conducted by Martins, Ramalho & Morin in 2010 where they showed that emotional intelligence is a plausible predictor of health. Ciarrochi, Deane & Anderson (2002) proved emotional intelligence as a distinct construct that is important in understanding the link between stress and mental health.

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