Licensed therapist mentions mental health comes at a cost but not prioritizing it could too
The importance of health starts with decisions made today that may not be in effect tomorrow but can later in life. Mental Health should be more than an option.
Kim Gregory is a licensed social worker and owner of Trilogy Counseling services in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has owned Trilogy since 2015. Gregory had an interesting road to becoming a Clinical Social Work/Therapist.
She said, "I'm lucky enough to have a parent who is also in the private practice business." Gregory and her mother attended college together in pursuit of the practice of counseling at KVCC (Kalamazoo Valley Community College).
Regarding social work/counseling, she has misconceptions about mental health and anxiety. She mentioned how society led people to believe that the brain and body are on different teams, but that's not the case.
"I think that it's important for us to accept the fact that we care for our bodies the same way that we need to care for our mind, and I think that some of the things that prevent people from seeking the care that they need are, number one, lack of information, and lack of understanding when it comes to what behavioral health services can provide," Gregory said.
In correlation to Gregory's statement, depression is more than a mental thing. The graphic above from Verywell Mind shows some symptoms that come with depression. Those symptoms involve a lack of sleep and a weakened immune system, to name a few.
Furthermore, studies show that the difference between the mind and body is the subtle change in the brain. There's a display of a normal brain and a depressed brain. It may not have analysis displayed, but the effects it has shown otherwise. Below, Southeastern Psychiatric Associates TMS Center will show the difference between a normal brain and a depressed brain.
For context, the graphic above shows both brains but one brain with more active brain cells than the other one. About the mind and body, the active brain cells, compared to the lack of brain cells, comes from being depressed or not. Gregory shed light regarding that effect. She made it clear that your mind and body are in the same limelight because both can impact one another.
While discussing the impact of depression and anxiety, the BIPOC communities were equated in the conversation too. Throughout the discussion, Gregory discussed why sometimes the BIPOC community doesn't seek care. It's due to a lack of information and understanding to name a few reasons.
She also said, "I think specifically when it comes to people of color, a lot of times it's access to resources, and if you are uninsured or underinsured or have other things that take precedence over your survival, your day-to-day existence, then it becomes less of a priority."
According to McLean Harvard Medical School Affiliate, numbers tell us that only 25% of African Americans seek mental health treatment, compared to 40% of White Americans. Most important, it is recorded in the United States that around 10% of Black People do not have healthcare insurance, along with other BIPOC communities. Gregory stated the lack of resources is a byproduct of why most of the BIPOC community does not seek assistance.
In addition, McLean Harvard Medical School Affiliate brought attention to a study. The study said, "physicians working with Black patients were 33% less likely to engage in patient-centered communications than White patients." This in itself is another barrier for BIPOC communities to overcome.
Despite the numbers and deficiency of care for BIPOC communities, Gregory still holds hope by encouraging people to seek care and resources that can be helpful in their change process or in addressing their needs.
The main priority remains the same, and that involves prioritizing mental health. It starts with understanding the body and mind need the same attention. Don't put one over the other.