During my working life I have come across and have at times been responsible for coaches, mentors, teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists in the performance of their professional capacities of helping people come to terms with modern life.
Of course there are those – in fact many – who regard such as being yet another indication of the “nanny state” and who have a nostalgic notion that the help provided by mental health professionals is a contributing factor to the ills of the world.
Life was so much simpler before the mental health professionals became involved and their detractors long for the time when the world wasn’t crazy.
Except of course mental health advisors have been around for as long as recorded time only in a different guise and under different names.
Teachers for example have always acted as confidential advisors supporting pupils as they dealt with the stresses of learning and growing.
In ancient times they were called the village elders or were the family older relatives who listened and dispensed the wisdom they had picked up during their lives.
All it has to be said without a single academic qualification between them which means of course that in today’s world they would be completely ignored.
Perhaps the major problem is that we have lost the ability not only to listen but also to accept criticism from anyone who doesn’t have a list of letters after their name before we will even consider accepting any advice from them.
We have it appears lost the respect for those who give advice based solely on their experience, expertise and knowledge.
It is strange that in the 21st Century and the rise of professionals in mental health that more and more people are increasingly isolated to the extent that they feel unable to discuss issues that would have previously been shared with friends, family and the modern equivalent of the “village elder”.
What ever happened to long-term friendships where people listened without being judgemental or feeling the need to give unsolicited advice.
Perhaps we may one day return to the simpler time but I fear it may be some time.