The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Injuries: a very common occurrence among all different types of people. Athletes, chefs, construction workers, and even custodians can sustain physical injuries that can be very painful and tricky to deal with. However, injuries, and physical health in general, can all be fixed through physical treatment. It’s easy to spot and conclude the right treatment for an injury, illness, or condition. Yet, the same ease does not necessarily apply to most mental health issues.

            

Mental health is like an injury to the conscious mind that differs in severity and symptoms from case to case. Despite that, taking care of mental health has been stigmatized in society with many people believing that taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally constitutes you as a weak person. I personally have struggled with placing this same stigma upon myself, calling myself too sensitive and lazy when my mind simply needed a break from the stress of a working student athlete’s life. In fact, many people struggle these days to understand the importance of taking care of yourself mentally because we grow up with a message that life is hard, and we just have to make do. It is not secret that life is challenging for everybody in different ways, but people shouldn’t just try to ignore the effects of stress on mental health because in a lot of cases, those overwhelming thoughts in the mind can lead to more serious illnesses.

            

Depression is one of the most common illnesses that result from a number of both physical factors and stressors. Actually, depression has more than doubled among college students within the last decade most likely because of the demand that students receive from school, work, and even extra curriculars. Devastating illnesses like depression can be hard to talk about because of the heavy mood that the topic sets, but I feel that it’s crucial to destigmatize talking about the damaging effects of these illnesses so that the percentage of people who suffer from them can feel more comfortable seeking help. One of the most important parts of overcoming mental health issues is having people behind you to help you through the journey. Creating a more positive outlook on mental health awareness in society would make it easier to create the circle of your support.

            

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health issues, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Working together, we can build a positive community in society that allows for more comfortable and accessible treatment of mental health issues. We can even normalize simply taking time to take care of yourself mentally. A great way to start is by checking on your friends and family. Ask them how they are, and say something to someone close if you need to talk through something. It’s okay to take time to focus on your mental health.

HCXO, Emily