There’s often a stigma surrounding mental illnesses and mental health in general. The term mental illness, in general, is usually referred to in a negative connotation. This in turn causes people to be ashamed to tell their family, friends or doctor if they feel something is wrong. This is not okay. A person should not feel ashamed to seek help when they know they need it, in fact they should be applauded and encouraged. It takes a lot of courage to say to yourself, “Hey somethings not right here, I need help.” As we have evolved as a society, people have begun to talk more openly about mental health. However, we still have a long way to go.
We need to invest more into our mental health system. There are many people who need help, but can’t seek it. According to MHA, Mental Health America, “Nationally, 57 percent of adults with mental illness receive no treatment, and in some states (Nevada and Hawaii), that number increases to 70 percent.” Even more alarming, 64 percent of youth that have depression receive no treatment at all. Whether this be because of finances, insurance, denial or because they are too ashamed and scared to seek help, this is not okay and this needs to change.
After every single mass shooting we have, there is always a discussion about the mental health of the shooter. This then sparks the topic of the mental health system in America and why it needs to be improved. This is all talk. We hear this over and over, yet nothing gets done. This is a big problem and the impact of our system, or lack thereof is evident in the statistics above. This leads me to another topic, when people think of mental illnesses and mental health, they tend to think of it as a one-size-fits-all deal. The truth is, everyone is different.
Everyone handles their emotions differently and people who go through anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder etc. will not exhibit the same behavior or signs as others. Everyone is unique especially when it comes to their health. If you suffer from any sort of mental illness, do not be ashamed. You can’t change who you are or how you feel. However, you can do all that you can to try to help yourself. If you know someone who suffers from a mental illness, be there for them. Don’t judge them. They aren’t broken and they aren’t crazy. They just happen to have to fight a different battle than you.