On This Is Us, Mandy Moore plays one of TV's best moms, but her real-life advice is just as solid as anything Rebecca Pearson has served up to the Big Three. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Moore shared her positive attitude toward therapy, and her take on the beneficial practice is one more people should share. Mental health and mental health care are often surrounded by stigmas that can prevent people from getting the help they need. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults experience mental health issues in any given year. And yet, talking about taking care of the mind, as well as the body, is still considered taboo by some people.
Moore is partnering with the women's health and family planning project Her Life, Her Adventures to advocate self-care. For the actor, part of taking care of herself means taking time for therapy. Moore told the Huffington Post:
"I'm a big proponent of therapy. It's something that I find in my own life to be incredibly helpful ... during many different junctures of my life, it's been a common through line."
Having a celebrity like Moore talk openly about the ways therapy has been beneficial in her life has the potential to take away some of the misconceptions associated with the practice. There are many reasons why people don't seek out talk therapy, including financial concerns and the struggle to find the right mental health care professional for their situation. But the misconceptions surrounding therapy also play a role in some people's reluctance to share their problems with a professional.
Moore said that therapy has become a way for her to share her feelings and check-in with herself. Often when talk of seeing a therapist comes up, there's a specific problem the person seeking their services wants to address. According to the UK-based Harley Therapy, some of the most common reasons for attending therapy include depression, anxiety, and addiction. But there are benefits of attending therapy even when you're not focused on a specific issue. As Moore reveals of her experience with therapy, it can be just as helpful when you're not feeling anxious or depressed. She said in the HuffPo interview:
"I feel like it's most beneficial at times when I don't think that I need it, like when there's not a ton going on that feels stressful. I find that I get the most benefit out of it sometimes when I feel like I’m doing okay."
This statement is a reminder that taking care of yourself mentally is a full-time practice. Even if you're feeling OK, it never hurts to have someone to share your thoughts and feelings with who can guide you on the best path, even if you don't feel like you're struggling. There seems to be an idea that the only time people should seek out mental health care is when they're in a crisis, but there are benefits to finding a therapist you trust no matter what your situation is.
Moore told the Huffington Post she's glad she can be part of having "an open dialogue around mental health." Taking care of yourself emotionally can be just as powerful as taking care of yourself physically. In some cases, the two things even go hand in hand. In her Our Adventure story, the actor talks about how Yoga and hiking are also parts of her self-care routine.
Of course, not everyone can afford therapy, but there are free or affordable alternatives that can be beneficial as well. BuzzFeed points out that some therapists actually see a certain number of clients for free, and group therapy is usually open to anyone who needs it. There are also therapy apps you can turn to, or you can reach out to the NAMI helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) for help finding free or reasonably priced services in your area.
If Moore's candidacy about how therapy has helped her achieve her goals and take care of herself can help just one person, then the talented star should feel amazing. It's never easy opening up about personal topics, but every time someone speaks out about their mental health care experience it has the potential to reach a person who needs that extra boost of confidence to start their own therapy journey.