Life is full of ups and downs – twists and turns. Some days are harder than others, especially if someone is living with specific mental health issues. Hence, seeking professional mental help seems intimidating amidst all the conundrums, which makes recovery and healing difficult. In addition, a seemingly never-ending stigma is often attached to it, which can be particularly difficult if someone is also struggling with feelings of embarrassment, shame, or judgment.
Co-founder and principal of Recovery Consultants, Shirley Wantland, believes that unnecessary stigma and stereotyping hinder the healing process. She aims to create a safe space for those who suffer from poor mental health and addiction. She hopes to let people know there is no shame in seeking professional help.
Recovery Consultants is a practice that redefines recovery with its non-conventional approach. Wantland says there is no right way, and one specific model doesn’t suit every individual’s needs and requirements. Her company provides complete recovery services to people and their families battling substance misuse and cognitive and behavioral health challenges.
Growing up as a Vietnamese immigrant in an American neighborhood, Wantland always struggled to fit in because of her differences. Rather than being ashamed of who she was, she embraced her differences and made them a source of strength and inspiration. She learned how to show herself compassion and empath. Today, she inspires and motivates others to do the same.
Shirley understands it is hard to reach out for help when you are going through substance abuse, mental illness, etc. “You fear the judgment, shame, and stigma that come with it,” she adds. “But in this moment, it is important to be kind to ourselves.”
Mental health is as important as one’s physical health, and shame only inhibits the road to recovery. The proper self-care, therapy, and rehabilitation will allow you to rediscover yourself again, giving your life a new meaning. For Shirley, healing and therapy are all about remembering who you are, and with the help of your strengths – and weaknesses– becoming who you are meant to be.
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