I’ve been working with my current therapist for the last eight years. For the first few years I saw her weekly, and now it’s every other week.

Yes, like all humans, I’ve had stuff to work through and heal, but for the most part now I see my therapist as a key part of my support system. She affords me a space where I get dedicated time to check in with myself and make sure I’m looking after myself and doing OK.

If your goal was to get fit and healthy and strong, when you reached that goal, would you just stop and expect to maintain that health? Of course not. Life happens. It continues, and so we must keep up a maintenance schedule if we want to stay healthy.

Your mental health is no different to your physical health. It may be more emotional labour at the beginning, but then you reach a point where you’re just keeping on top of what’s coming up day to day, rather than having to unearth, process, heal and unlearn patterns. Don’t get me wrong, there’s probably always going to be some stuff, but it feels so much easier with a strong support system in place, internally and externally.

N.B. I fully appreciate that, like most access to support, therapy is a privilege. Many areas have no low cost / free access to much needed mental health support or huge (years) wait lists. This is not OK. My intention with this post is to raise awareness of the importance of normalising mental health support so there is less strain on services for those in need who don’t have access to preventative mental health care.