December 7, 2023

Why Is Mental Health Awareness Important?

Mental Health Awareness, according to Andre S. Judice, means the “recognition that our psychological well-being is an important part of our own health, productivity, and happiness, as well as the well-being of the community.” Mental Health Awareness lets people know they are not alone. It shows them that there are people they can talk to about their feelings. People have mental health issues that can get so bad they just break down to the point they can’t move.

Depression is not the only mental illness, there’s also anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, dementia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and believe it or not autism is a type of mental health disorder. On the topic of depression people think the only symptom is suicidal thoughts but that’s not true at all, most common symptoms are they may have anxiety, guilt, restlessness, excessive hunger, waking up early, insomnia, slowness in activity, lack of concentration, weight gain/loss, and many other things that people don’t stop to think about. The same with anxiety, it’s not just being scared of everything there is so much more to it that not many people think about or understand. Mental Health Awareness gives those people with depression, anxiety, etc. a place to go to when they need help or just someone to understand them and be there for them.

People don’t choose to have mental health disorders, some people are born with them some develop them from trauma. These are serious problems that people have and sometimes it’s untreatable, so that person just has to live with it for the rest of their life and there’s nothing they or doctors can do about it. The thing is, most of these people have learned to hide it so that nobody knows, they put a smile on their face to hide the fact that they have a mental health disorder.

Mental Health Awareness Month is in May this year, the mental health symbol is the lime green ribbon. Mental Health Awareness provides a timely reminder that their mental health disorder is essential and their feelings are valid, those living with mental health problems are deserving of care, understanding, compassion, and paths to help them heal, have hope, love themselves, recover, and live a long, fulfilled life. Nobody should have to deal with this on their own, it can be mentally and physically exhausting trying to hold yourself together with no help from anybody and thinking your alone. As for students with mental health issues, awareness can play a key role in our approach in improving access to healthcare. These kids have to not only deal with mental health issues, they also have to deal with school work at the same time and that could be harder for some than others. Students need someone to turn to when they get stressed out, whether it’s a teacher, counselor, or even a close friend, but in the world we live in its hard to find people who will actually be there for you instead of telling you to “get over it” or “just be happy, stop being so sad.”

We seek to empower communities, doctors/nurses/surgeons and patients with the appropriate tools, information and skills so that they can live as much of a high quality of life as possible, and make informed decisions on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care, and support. To help people who have mental health issues we can simply listen, just sit down with them and let them vent with no judgement and concentrate on what they need at that moment in time. We can ask them what they think would help them instead of shoving things in their face that we think would help without knowing what is actually wrong. We can reassure them and let them know they are not alone and they have people that are there for them when they need it, we can also signpost to practical information or resources that they can use to help them. We have to try and avoid confrontation, let them come to you, don’t try to push them to talk about what they’re going through, let them come to you when they are ready. Finally, we can ask them if there is someone they would be more comfortable talking to instead of us, like a close friend or family member. If you are suffering with a mental health disorder, know that you are not alone. There are people for you to go to and talk.