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Let’s Talk About Mental Health

It’s important to talk about mental health. For more reasons than just one. Whether or not you yourself struggle with mental health, it’s important that people have this conversation.

In the past, mental health wasn’t even a thing to talk about. Comparatively, we’ve as a society made a lot of progress on this front. But it’s still not enough. With the number of suicides that happen on college campuses, the number of people being prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, the conversation needs to broaden and become more and more public. It’s still considered a taboo subject in some countries, and arguably in the United States as well.

If I tell someone from an older generation, say, my grandmother, the idea of a mentally ill person is someone who is likely to be admitted into an asylum. Depression is an “upper-class” symptom for people who have nothing better to do in their lives. Anxiety is just normal pre-event jitters. Not like depression can affect any type of person, irrespective of class or creed. Not like anxiety can literally debilitate a person from performing basic activities.

While talking about mental health may not change everyone’s perspectives, it may open the eyes of at least some people. Talking about it, through sharing your story, through sharing stats and figures, by speaking out about the different types of mental illnesses out there can educate some people on the topic.

It might even help someone who has been struggling with mental health for an extended period of time to recognize the fact that they are not well. Often, if someone comes from a place where it’s a taboo to talk about mental health, they’ll go undiagnosed. And they’ll be suffering on their own. Maybe sharing your story, or talking about a specific illness will help them realize that they are not alone and that they should talk to someone that they know about what they are going through and discuss options.

It might even help you. Sharing your own story can feel so empowering, and help you realize all that you’ve gone through, and how legitimate your experience with mental health had been.

The race to awareness starts with you and me.  


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Alizah Ali is a senior at BU. She's working on her biology-premed degree, which finds her often in the quietest parts of the library. She loves coffee and bunnies and running whenever the Boston weather lets her. She's a big advocate for mental health destigmatization and awareness. Follow her on instagram @lizza0419
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