Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Prince Harry spoke out about mental health and the importance of reaching out to farmers in Australia (here is a snippet of his speech): https://twitter.com/tictoc/status/1052581311838339072). Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia, with the highest numbers being young men. Although his speech catered to the people of Australia, there are a few key points applicable to everyone:

1. “You need to know that part of being strong and tough is having the courage to seek help when you need it.” 

  • Oftentimes people believe that what they are experiencing mentally is just stress or anxiety, when in reality it is a medical issue. People don’t tell others about their depression, for example, because they think that they just need to toughen up, as if depression makes them weak. Being “tough” is knowing yourself and asking for help when needed.

2, “Asking for help was one of the best decisions that I ever made.”

  • Prince Harry has been open about his mental health experiences after his mother, Princess Diana, passed away. He has been open about depression and seeking help. In doing so, he says that it was one of the best decisions he has ever made. Hopefully by telling others about his own story, people will be more open to seeking help for themselves in the future. The first step is always the hardest, but it is always worth it.

3. “The experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realize that actually you’re part of quite a big club.”

  • With open conversations about mental health, it makes the topic seem less scary. Although mental health is a serious and often scary topic, it becomes less scary in the sense that people learn that they are not alone. Nobody is completely alone in any regard. As Prince Harry says, “We are all in this together.”

 4. “You will be continually amazed at how life changes for the better.”

  • Life always gets better. It is important to realize that a couple of bad months do not, and will not, last forever, no matter how horrible they might be. There are always people going through the same things; you just have to find them. Speaking out about your own mental health issues is difficult, but with more open and accepting conversations about the topic, the stigma of mental health will fade.

Mental health is hard to diagnose because you can’t see it; however, its effects are real to those who experience it. Your feelings are always valid. Remember to check in on those friends that are quieter or distant; they may be needing someone to come to them and be real about their experiences in order to share their own.

 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline (U.S.): 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Hotline (U.S.): 1-800-273-8255

Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

DePauw Counseling Services: 765-658-4268