Millions of people suffer from mental illness worldwide. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in every 5 adults in the United States will experience mental illness at some point in a given year.
When we as students are caught up in a whirlwind of papers, exams, labs, internships, and clubs, it can be easy to forget that we should take care of ourselves—both our bodies and minds. There are a copious number of students who will never recognize that they need help, never seek help, or will never be screened for a mental illness. These are facts that are worth addressing.
Mental health matters because psychological disorders can impair one’s ability to function in ordinary life in some way.
Some students may just sleep through their alarm, but other students may be unable to physically lift themselves out from underneath the covers each morning because of their depression. Some students may become stressed due to an upcoming exam, staying up later each night to review material, while others have such panic and anxiety that they cannot even open a textbook. Even still, there are some students who prefer to stay in with an enthralling book rather than immersing themselves in the Boston bar scene, while there are others who have such social anxiety, that they fear these social situations intensely. These disorders are hidden among us, but they are undoubtedly there, affecting students’ ability to function in some parts of college life.
Every day we walk down Commonwealth Avenue, passing hundreds upon hundreds of students who may feel, act, think, or perceive in a way that may require the help of mental health professionals such as psychotherapists or social interventionists.
So be aware; reading this article was your first step. If you or one of your friends is experiencing difficulties with mental health, please contact Student Health Services as well as the mental health helpline.