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The felt shame of being a mental health professional with a mental health condition

A very moving article written by Ariane Beeston in Australia highlights how stigmatising it can feel to be a helper needing help. 

Our mental health training cannot innoculate us from the impacts of life's serious challenges. We are humans first. 

Is our pain in response to what happens to us professional incompetence? Or is it in fact a very good litmus test to check that we are indeed human?!

There is no one rule for us the helper and another for the person seeking help. We are both and either depending on what's needed. Us health professionals show our competence by asking for help when we need it, by understanding that we are not immune, by looking after ourselves well so we can look after others well, balancing self and other care. 

But this needs to be enabled by a system around us that understands the normalcy of it. Shame has no business in mental health. Propigators of it have no place except for in a learning space themselves.

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