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If you tell someone that you are celebrating National Psychotherapy Day they might just say ‘you need your head examined’ or some other joking remark. Or maybe they will say that people who can afford psychotherapy don’t need a special day. But no matter what the response is from others, the celebration of this day is important in a myriad of ways!

History of National Psychotherapy Day

The world has come very far on the topic of mental health since the days, thousands of years ago, when it was believed that evil spirits were the cause of mental illness, and the cure was sometimes to drill holes in the skull. Thankfully, this is no longer the protocol!

But the modern world is still working hard to fight against the stigma and negativity that can come for those who choose to get help and improve their mental health. That’s where National Psychotherapy comes into play.

National Psychotherapy Day was founded in 2012 by a group of professionals and students who thought it was important to combat misconceptions. The hope for the day was to raise awareness of the vital work that is done by therapists in helping the one in four people who suffer from mental illness, as well as those with other types of emotional problems.

The color turquoise is worn to show support for National Psychotherapy Day and can be combined with their logo of a turquoise counseling chair on a black background. It is an ideal time to talk, write, read or blog about psychotherapy in order to break down stigmas and worries, share psychotherapy research, and offer a safe place where anyone can feel free to seek out the help they need from a psychotherapist.

How to Celebrate National Psychotherapy Day

Make a difference in your own life or the lives of others by showing support and appreciation for National Psychotherapy Day. The day offers a wide range of opportunity for observing and celebrating, including some of these:

Talk to a Therapist

National Psychotherapy Day might provide the perfect little nudge for someone who has been thinking about going to a counselor or getting some help. Take this day as a motivation to ask for a referral or do an online search for a psychotherapist in the local area, then make an appointment and start working on doing some healing from the inside out.

Don’t feel the need to see a therapist, but have a friend who perhaps could use some support? Check in with them to see what ways they might need help, like finding a good therapist, or securing a lift back and forth from their appointments. Sometimes all someone needs is a little help from a friend to get themselves back on track as they work to become more secure on their mental and emotional health journey.

Learn More About Mental Health

In addition to medication, psychotherapy is one of the most important defenses against severe mental illness. In celebration of National Psychotherapy Day, raise awareness for the need and tear down walls by sharing some important information in person or on social media. Start with some of these facts:

  • One out of five adults in the US experiences mental illness each year.

  • People who live with severe mental illness are more likely to die early, sometimes as much as two decades earlier than others their age.

  • For many mental health concerns, psychotherapy is more effective than most medical treatments and has basically no side effects.

  • Psychotherapy can often help to strengthen self-esteem, build coping mechanisms, minimize anxiety or depression, and promote healthier functioning within society, community and family.

Volunteer or Make a Donation

Folks who have been helped by therapists in the past, or those who have friends or family members who have, may want to take National Psychotherapy Day as a time to volunteer at a local community mental health center or make a donation to a charitable organization that promotes mental health on a local, national or international level.

One of these nonprofit organizations might be a good fit to support for National Psychotherapy Day:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • Mental Health America
  • National Institute for Mental Health
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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