Mental Illness is Strong But So are You

By Autumn Fortenberry

Mental health is a topic that hits close to home for many people. Whether you have watched your best friend battle depression, lost a loved one to suicide, or you personally struggle with anxiety in social situations, each person is affected by mental health concerns in some way. It is important to recognize that taking time to care for your mental health does not mean you have a disorder. The stress of finals week or the loss of a close family member can cause people to experience heightened levels of anxiety or depressive moods. Each person’s experiences are different, so it is important to remain mindful of your feelings and take notice of feelings that are out of the ordinary. Regardless of where you identify with this topic, please know that you are not alone.

Photo by Autumn Fortenberry

This week the “Send Silence Packing” exhibit made an appearance in The Grove here at Ole Miss. This exhibit travels the country raising awareness for mental health issues and suicide prevention. Backpacks with stories of people who have died by suicide lined the walkways and covered the grassy areas of The Grove. Its mission is to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and to let students know that they are not alone and that there is help available.

No matter your background, social status, or academic standing, we as a University are here for you. You are loved, and you are valuable in this world. As hard as it may be to imagine, the pain you may be feeling now is not permanent.  Receiving help for mental illness does not make you weak or less than others. Be gracious when caring for yourself, and do not be afraid to reach out to a friend, a professor, or the counseling center when necessary.

 

Ole Miss Counseling Center: 662-915-3784

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text “BRAVE” to 741-741