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Mental Health Matters for Everyone

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SFU chapter.

Mental health is a highly important topic that, frankly, should be discussed more often across all groups of people.

It’s time to destroy the stigma around health, especially between people of colour. Mental illness can affect anyone regardless of gender, race, age or sexual orientation. It’s a valid physical illness and not just something you can tell someone to get over.

Your ignorance about the matter could do more harm to others. Instead of being ignorant, be a part of starting the discussion to raise mental health awareness.

Stop joking about it; it just makes it harder for those who actually have mental health issues to speak up about their struggles. Can we stop acting like mental illness is a choice? No one voluntarily chooses to have them. Can we stop pretending like mental illness is made up or for people seeking attention?

Furthermore, we need to stop doubting someone’s mental health because of the way they may look or their financial status. Just because someone is attractive or may have a lot of money certainly doesn’t mean that they can’t have mental health issues.

We need to stop questioning someone’s mental health because they have a loving family or because they’re in a happy relationship. Anyone can be and we need to be supportive, start taking them seriously and listen to them.

Anxiety is so much more than being scared. Depression is so much more than being sad. Bipolar disorder is so much more than having mood swings. ADHD is more much more than having too much energy. These are real people with real emotions and feelings, don’t simplify them to mere adjectives.

What if we talked to people about allergies they way we do with mental illnesses.

“Oh, you don’t have allergies. You just have a cold.” or “You can’t have allergies. You have a cat.” or “I don’t get it, are you just always allergic?”

So friends, parents, teachers, neighbours, partners and others….. don’t dismiss mental health issues that someone you may know has.

It’s important to raise awareness of mental health because so many people would rather ignore it and shrug it off. Be that shoulder they can lean on if needed.

As for anyone with mental health issues, you are certainly not alone. Please remember the following:

You are good enough.

You are not your mistakes.

It’s okay to ask for help.

You matter.

Remember to take care of yourselves and each other.

Born and raised in East Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Edna is a 3rd year International student pursuing a major in Communication and minor in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. Currently doing a co-op placement at Simon Fraser University Career and Volunteer Services as a Special Projects Assistant.She enjoys reading, sports, theatre and karaoke. She is a loving mother to two beautiful guinea pigs named Amarula and Kahlua. She loves Cheesecake! She's a Social Justice Warrior Princess. Connect with Edna and follow her story. Instagram: @shineella96 Twitter: @shineella96 Snapchat: @shineella96