Many things are incredibly important to people’s lives. Some may say the most important thing to them is their friends, their family, or even their material things. Not everyone has the luxury of those benefits in a constant. The one constant everyone has is their mental health. A person’s mental health is incredibly important, no matter socioeconomic status, gender, sexuality, or location.

As a little girl, it’s easy to be naïve and carefree about the world, all the other kids are happy, and so was I. Things change when you get older though, you grow up, and so does everyone else. I first became interested in mental health when my friend told me about her depression when I was a freshman. She told me how hard some days were for her to just get out of bed. Everyday felt like she was going through the motions, numbing her very existence, and some nights she didn’t want to exist at all. I was just an immature freshman and I didn’t process much of what she was saying at the time, but I felt it a little too. I decided to start talking to people and learning. Even now as a senior I want to learn more about mental health, how to improve it, and to spread awareness for it, because if we don’t have that, we can’t have anything.

A healthy mind is supposed to be able to function on a day to day basis, and when that ability gets unbalanced or misconstrued in anyway, it can change a person completely. When this happens, it’s sometimes known as an abnormal behavior. Some disorders we need to resolve include Anxiety Disorders, Phobic Disorders, and other Mood Disorders, Eating Disorders and Sleep Disorders.

It’s 2017, and the mental health crisis is a huge issue in schools, nationally, and internationally according to sources like NPR, the Atlantic, and Brookings Institute. According to NPR, “A mental health disorder is a condition that disrupts a person’s mood, thought or behavior, often for a long period of time” (CDC report on children’s mental health), and knowing what this is, would be the first step in solving the crisis in individuals. One major step that needs to be taken by the society is changing the stigma that mental health brings on a person. Rather than taking care of individuals and encouraging the necessary help that they need, our society alienates them, treats them as liars and attention hogs. Approximately 20% of adolescents have a mental disorder. The adolescents that don’t get help turn to unhealthy way to deal with their disorders. They turn to alcohol, drugs, and sometimes self-harm/abuse. Nationally homelessness is on the rise, and one of the leading causes of homelessness is mental health disorders. Mental health disorders make it hard for homeless individuals to get jobs therefore making it hard to have an income. The social stigma surrounding them is they are lazy, but in reality, a lot of them do have disorders. The one thing our society needs to do is get them help as well, on a national, and a local level. On an international level, wars are causing psychological trauma on civilians. According to Omer Karasapan, “55 percent of Syrian refugees there needing psychological services” (Karasapan), which makes perfect sense given their living conditions of constant war. Children being exposed to this increases their chances of a more unstable mind and more issues in life.

Our world really needs to change. It needs to become more accepting of the broken, in fact we need to stop calling people who are suffering with a mental health disorder broken. Our governments need to increase spending on health support for everyone that needs it. If funding gets increased, children, adolescents, and adults can all get the help they need to improve their happiness and wellbeing. That is what is most important anyway.

Finding help for people who need it for their health shouldn’t be as hard or cost effective as it is. It’s very upsetting to see that many of the ones that need it, can’t afford it, and the ones who have access, are too scared to use it because of the social stigma. Our world is evolving. We need to change the way we look at one another, and accept each other despite our mental health. We can fix the world and make it safe for all of us. We have to take care of one another, all of the children, all of the adults, and all of the teens, and we have to survive in this world we created.

 

Sources:

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2016/04/25/syrias-mental-health-crisis/

http://apps.npr.org/mental-health/

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/getting-mental-health-on-the-docket/485996/

 

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I'm Isabelle Judge, a senior at Wyoming High School. I'm an aspiring psychology major and hoping to go to med school. I thinking about specializing in Neurology or Immunology, but when I get to med school that may change.

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