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Where's the Me in Mental health?

Every time I come across a mental health startup, coach or professional, the dialogue goes like this -

Them - "I know how to improve your mental health and life"

Me - How?

Them - "For that I need you to start thinking about life the way I do and follow all the things I ask you to"

Me - Okay

Them - "So you need to understand things about life that you are wrong about, shift your perspectives based on what I say and build new habits that I prescribe to have an absolutely brilliant mental health"

Me - Is that how your mental health is, absolutely brilliant, all the time?

Them - "Hmmm"

This is what it feels like when you as a “solution seeker” are at the end of the value chain. You are forced to accommodate to the philosophies and processes of the “solution provider” and create new habits for you to “become better”. No wonder the retention rates of mental health solutions are low and relapse rates are high.

Can we start mental healthcare with what the individual believes in right now and navigate their way towards “better mental health”? And when they do so, can the individual decide what “better mental health” is to them?

It’s time we put the “solution seeker” at the centre of the mental health care value model.


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