Mental health coaching; all you need to know

When you hear the word coach, what image comes to mind? For many, the word coach elicits the image of an athlete coach, one who helps an individual or a team succeed in a given sport. The Webster dictionary defines a coach as someone who trains intensively by instruction and direction. This simply means that a coach works with someone to help them fulfill their goal, be it in sports, relationships, or any area of life; it is the same with mental health coaching.

The WHO defines mental health as “ a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and can make a contribution to his or her community.” Mental health has to do with our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and how we utilize them to achieve our desired goals and relate well with the people around us. Mental health is a continuum, this means that sometimes we may feel low, and sometimes, we may feel terrific. At the low end of the continuum is mental disorders. Maintaining a healthy mental state is important for your overall well-being.

Who is a Mental Health Coach?

So who is a mental health coach? A mental health coach is a trained professional who helps individuals who want to improve their mental health. They do this by utilizing evidence-based techniques aimed at helping individuals manage their emotions, improve communication and relationship skills, challenge negative thought patterns and reduce stress. A mental health coach works with individuals to help them achieve their defined goal of mental wellness (they do not treat mental illnesses like depression and anxiety).

Is Mental Health Coaching For Me?

Here are a few signs you might benefit from mental health coaching:

  • You struggle to make it through each day.
  • You feel stressed and burn out.
  • You’ve lost your self-confidence and zest for life.
  • Your emotional distress is at the lower end of the mental health continuum.

What to Expect From Mental Health Coaching

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Mental health coaching provides a support system for individuals with mental health challenges. During the coaching process, a partnership between the coach and the client is formed, and both the coach and the client work toward achieving the same goal- helping the client get better at dealing with their mental health challenges. Because mental health coaching is a partnership, the coach, though knowledgable, does not primarily give consult and advice (they will do so when they see the need), but knowing that the client is master of themselves, they work with them to create a plan of action focused on keeping the client on track toward achieving their identified mental health goals.

Benefits of Working With a Mental Health Coach

There are a lot of benefits that come with working with a mental health coach as opposed to trying to deal with your mental challenges all by yourself:

  • Mental health coaches help individuals develop a positive outlook on life. They can help improve your relationships with friends and families, and research shows that good relationships are positively correlated with better well-being.
  • As trained professionals, they can provide useful insight into your presenting problem that you may not have known.
  • Working with a coach provides you with the support, motivation, and accountability that is often lacking when you try working things out on your own.
  • The coaching process will help you become better equipped to handle change, stressful situations and live a thriving life.

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a free 30 minutes coaching call. I will be happy to work with you toward achieving a healthy mental state and helping you begin to love life again; begin to thrive.

Ufon Ahime
Mental Health Coach.