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Here's why Lily Reinhart's thoughts on therapy are more impactful than we might think

‘We are all human.’

I BECAME A teenager at the dawn of the new millennium when – in my experience – any open dialogue relating to mental health and emotional wellness was thin on the ground.

As such, my understanding of the issue was shrouded in a veil of fear and confusion.

shutterstock_519408631 Source: Shutterstock/Eakachai Leesin

While intellectually I knew that mental illness did not discriminate in any way, shape or form, the fact that any conversation pertaining to it was often spoken in hushed tones suggested that it was something to be concealed. 

And with all the wisdom of a teenager, my understanding was that if it had to be concealed then surely the situation had to be pretty intense.

In other words, it seemed an issue of extremes, and simply put, if you weren’t ‘unwell enough’, you might just fall through the cracks.

It was confusing, hugely disconcerting and ultimately clouded my perception of what it meant to be mentally unwell, who ‘deserved’ treatment, and what shape this treatment might take.

Indeed, it wasn’t until my twenties that I noticed the narrative surrounding it – both in mainstream and social media – expanding and elaborating somewhat, and I genuinely regret the candour which eluded the subject in my teens.

And that is why the impact of a recent Instagram post shared by Lili Reinhart cannot be underestimated.

View this post on Instagram

The sun came out for us.

A post shared by Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) on

The 22-year-old Riverdale actress, whose core fanbase comprises adolescents and young adults, used her platform to remind her followers that when it comes to acknowledging the importance of mental wellness, nobody is above the practice.

“Friendly reminder for anyone who needs to hear it: Therapy is never something to feel ashamed of,” she wrote in a post shared on her Instagram story in recent days.

Everyone can benefit from seeing a therapist. Doesn’t matter how old or ‘proud’ you’re trying to be.

Sharing an insight into her personal experience, she continued: “I’m 22. I have anxiety and depression. And today I started therapy again. And so the journey of self-love begins for me.”

Reinforcing the point, the actress reminded her followers, who number in excess of a staggering 15 million, that no matter what an individual’s exterior suggests, the interior may tell a different story.

We are all human. And we all struggle. Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help. 

In other words, no one person is more deserving of compassion, assistance and guidance than another.

As a teenager and young adult, I internalised the idea that only certain individuals ‘qualified’ for help in the area of mental health, and a message as succinct as Lili’s from an individual of her global profile during my teen years would have gone a long way.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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