Personal Reflections of a Psychotherapist on World Mental Health Day

Posted by on October 10, 2021

October 10th is Mental Health Day, the theme this year is Mental Health for All and why it is Important. Psychotherapist and Toronto Counselling Centre for Teens team member Bjorn Kwok share his personal reflections in honour of Mental Health Day.

Written by Bjorn KwoK, RP

Initially, I wanted to start this blog with the “mental health is as important as physical health” stance however it just feels overdone. And so, instead I share today on World Mental Health Day my ongoing journey in mental health.

I grew up being told I had to look a certain way, be a certain person and live up to certain expectations. I would hear this from my teachers, my friends and family members. I, like most people, would try to meet these expectations and eventually feel the sometimes-overwhelming pressures of these expectations.

Having limited experience as a youth with feelings and emotions, I was unable to describe what I was going through. I would express in anger or retreat, to the comfort of my computer and video games. For 23-years I carried bitterness and resentment for the people who had given me these expectations and felt that they had somehow stopped me from being my genuine and authentic self. I hated who I was, felt alone and at one point considered if the world would be better off if I wasn’t here.

In my first year of pursing my degree in Counselling, I remember drifting between days. Continuing to try to meet expectations others set for me felt empty and purposeless. One of the assignments was to attend counselling sessions for ourselves to promote self awareness.

I went to counselling not because I thought I needed it but because I was told to.

Looking back to my first 3 months in counselling, I realize it was the first time I felt heard and understood. I was able to express the deep bitterness and resentment I had towards the world and it started to melt away. I discovered what it’s like to be honest and genuine with my feelings. I began to work on and improve my self-awareness, develop coping strategies that are appropriate and functional for me and create a support system that allows to be to express myself authentically.

As of writing this, I still carry expectations from friends, family and society however I am able to recognize the impact the expectations have on me and manage those expectations better. I still feel anger and retreat to my computer and video games, but I am also able to identify my triggers and accept that I just need some time to myself. There are still times that I challenge this idea that am I living a genuine and authentic life.

I am happy to be who I am. I am grateful for my past. I am excited to continue in my mental health journey.

Mental health is important.

Did Bjorn’s story resonate with you or do you think his experiences might help a teen in your life connect with him?

The Toronto Counselling Centre for Teens is offering online therapy, and in-person therapy for those whom online or over the phone is not an option.

If you are in an adult exploring the idea of therapy for yourself, please visit us over at Runnymede Psychotherapy and Wellness, located at the same location with online options available.

All consultation calls are confidential and commitment free. If we believe you need help that we are not equipped to provide we are happy to refer you.


416-565-4504 or

Visit us

267 Runnymede Rd,
Toronto, ON, M6S 2Y5

Open Hours

Monday to Friday
10am - 8pm
Saturday and Sunday
10am - 6pm

Book An Appointment Now


Stay up to date with blogs, news and resources at the Toronto Counselling Centre for Teens

267 Runnymede Rd,
Toronto, ON, M6S 2Y5