Article  By Stephanie Paquette, Clinical Social Worker at Openspaceclinic.

As a clinical social worker, my clients grant me intimate access to the stories that have shaped their mental health trajectories.  Although the circumstances impacting their mental health vary, the themes weaving their narratives together, are similar. For example, the search for perfection and the feeling of never being good enough, the desire for trust and safety in relationships, and the need for choice, validation and acknowledgement from parents and intimate partner, are common experiences. 

When difficult circumstances arise, or when genetics and/or trauma impacts us, our worldview may shift, and our mental health may be negatively impacted. As citizens in our communities, we tend to differentiate and dissociate from other humans. Yet mental health does not differentiate, mental health unites us. Regardless of class, gender, culture, religious or socio-economic status, you cannot run-away from your mental health. When you ignore, reject, or disconnect from your mental state, it will show up in patterns of relating and communicating, in moments of difficulty or stress, and it reminds you, sometimes frighteningly so, of your vulnerabilities. Acknowledging when you need help to navigate your difficulties is a sign of strength and resilience. In doing so, you are allowing a mental health professional to help guide you and offering yourself the gift of healing.