On being a mental health advocate

August 31, 2023

Two years ago, I was officially diagnosed with CPTSD by a clinical psychologist.

Today, I'm a vocal mental health advocate, having experienced for myself the incredible progress I've made since I started therapy. I'm committed to dismantling the stigma that is so often associated with mental health issues and it is my unwavering belief that seeking professional help is not only necessary, but also a sign of strength.

Indra Cidambi, a recognized psychiatrist, emphasizes the pivotal role of advocates in transitioning mental health conversations from private corners to public platforms. It is often the case that advocates who speaks up about their depression, schizophrenia, or experiences of violence, sparks a change that resonates throughout their communities.

However, even with progress being made, many people still face social stigma and barriers to receiving treatment. Through her experience as a practicing psychologist, Cidambi highlights that only through increased awareness can we hope to lower these barriers and increase access to treatment, including tackling the lack of insurance coverage for mental health services. Advocates who share their own experiences with mental health conditions can help others feel less alone and encourage them to seek treatment.

The only solution to this is to continue creating awareness about mental health issues. Advocates play an important role in this by not only making people feel less alone but also encouraging them to seek treatment. They have the ability to create empathy, encouraging others who do not live with such conditions to become more aware of their impact.

As a mental health advocate, I am committed to being that open channel of support and information for anyone in need. My journey began with a friend who shared her own story of seeing a psychologist, which inspired me to take the first step in seeking help. Finally, it is my turn to share what I have learned and hopefully that voice of understanding for someone else.

Looking ahead, I'm planning on writing a longer, in-depth piece about the stigmatization and minimization of mental health within Asian communities, particularly among the affluent. It's an issue that's close to my heart, and I'm hoping that by exploring it more deeply, I can help others who are facing similar challenges.


If you are looking to address and seek support for your mental health, here's a quick list of resources for anyone reading based on places I've received support from myself, or that have been recommended by trusted friends:

Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesian Psychological Healthcare Center

Sydney, Australia

The Indigo Project

The Feel Good Clinic

*Both clinics above accepts Medicare Insurance.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Psycholoog Nederland

*This clinic accepts Basis GZZ insurance.

Esther Woonink