Mental Health Awareness
Sat down at the coffee shop with a friend, talking about how much the world has evolved in the past 10 years. We talked about sports, things happening in our society, career goals, the invention and up rise of social media, technology and how it’s been easy to adapt with these new inventions. One topic we didn’t clearly want to talk about was mental health, even though a mutual friend had gone through that recently. We finally broke the ice on that and agreed that we could’ve done better to notice it, as he slowly withdrew from us. That is the problem with our society, no one wants to talk about mental health openly. This leads to people suffering in silence because of various fears, one being not to be seen as an outcast.
So, let’s talk mental health. This is an invisible ailment that if left abandoned can lead to life-long difficulties and can interfere with one’s independence in life.
According to the world health organization, one in four people in the world are affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. This is a scary fact, I believe a concerted education campaign to increase mental health awareness should be implemented. Today, more youths are affected by mental health or disorder than ever before. The next generation should be educated early about mental illness and how to recognize and seek help when problems first start.
Through my involvement in the community, I’ve come across people both young and old who have experience with mental illness either personally or through a family member or friend. This gives me hope and optimism because the more people are speaking to their peers openly about their experiences, the easier it is to break the stigma around mental illness. These are little but beneficial differences being made from one small community to the next and it inspires people are finding new positive meaning as to live through mental health issues in life.
This is what I see happening in coming years, a world where people with mental illness are taught not to feel shame; to believe that they have a very important role to play in the society, and that they’ll always have someone to talk to no matter the situation. Let’s stop with the response that what they’re going through is “all in their head” or something to just “a temporary phase to get over”. The media can also play a positive role by spreading more encouraging and positive news about mental illness. Mental illness is not synonymous to harmful behavior. This an area that we all need to invest in and pay attention to, everyone deserves to have a great life.