Mental Health & Stigma
Within the Traveller community, a stigma has been attached to seeking help, particularly help with emotional or psychological issues. People who go for counselling or psychotherapy, whether these are individuals, couples or families, are not mad or crazy. They are ordinary every day people who are trying to manage everyday living as best as they can and are experiencing difficulties which they feel they need to talk to someone about. We all at some stage experience problems and need to talk to someone about these. This is usually done in an informal way, a chat with a friend of a family member. The difference with counselling is it is done in a formal setting between someone who is trained in counselling and the person experiencing the difficulties.
This stigma can prevent people from seeking help even when the person themselves know they need help and the community knows it. This can be detrimental to the person’s well being.