Stephanie Parent-Chandler is a registered psychologist based out of Sherwood Park.
 
As a therapist, Parent-Chandler believes many people still are not seeking the help they need for mental health issues.
 
"I think the stigma can really prevent people from reaching out for help... if they are feeling too worried or too ashamed about accessing the support, they just might never do that."

Sometimes it starts with talking to a friend or family member. A therapist is a good place to begin too. Parent-Chandler stressed a therapist is a bit like finding a pair of shoes; you might need to try a few different ones before you find one that works for you.
 
The most frequent cases she tends to see involve anxiety and depression. Anxiety can range from a mild case where people feel uncomfortable around people or situations, to more sever cases like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Similarly, depression can range from having more mild symptoms like mood swings and lack of interest or motivation, to having suicidal thoughts.
 
"Just because a person might be diagnosed or have symptoms of a particular disorder, doesn't mean that they all present exactly the same."
 
Parent-Chandler added only hearing about the extreme or violent cases is an issue that feeds into the current outlook on mental health.
 
Vegreville Composite High recently hosted an event called the Headstrong Summit, students talked to speakers about breaking the stigma around mental health.
 
"Remember that everyone is worthy of getting that support," concluded Parent-Chandler.

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