While watching the Get With the Times: The Mental Game With Kevin Love, one thing that reporter Juliet Macur said really stuck out to me. Juliet applauded Kevin for his openness in sharing his mental health struggles following a panic attack during an intense basketball game and said that she really respected that Kevin wanted to create awareness for mental health in society as a proactive approach as opposed to the usual retroactive approach. Juliet pointed to famous celebrities such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, whose deaths sparked yet another conversation about mental health. The only problem with these conversations is that we are losing yet another person with so much potential to a struggle that we can do our best to prevent and aid.
My family and friends have had their fair share of struggles with mental health. These struggles are usually kept under wraps until the person cries out for help, usually months after the battle has begun. This is due to a fear of opening up about the issues, because of the stigma surrounding mental health. As a society, we should put more time and energy into creating an open dialogue about mental health struggles. Events like the Get With the Times event at Tufts are a great start. Having a well-known athlete come to a university and open up about his struggles lets adolescents know that they are not alone. The more honesty and awareness we can bring to the issue, the closer we are to making a difference.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with their mental health, UNC offers free counseling and psychological services to UNC students. CAPS offers services such as individual therapy, group therapy, couples therapy, medication management, referral coordination, and academic interventions. CAPS aims to connect with the UNC community in order to create a culture of care on campus and beyond.
By coming together and bringing awareness to mental health while creating an open dialogue, we can stop the stigma. It is our responsibility as students and young adults to help change our culture to a more accepting and supportive one.