You matter and you are not alone.
Growing up, we’re often taught how to talk, how to act, and many times how to feel. We’re taught what’s right, what’s wrong, and how to grow up to be a civilized member of society. Yet, what’s often left out is the discussion of mental health.
As I got older I realized mental illnesses were rarely talked about in school, or anywhere for that matter. In today’s day and age, it is so important to discuss mental health in order to normalize it and end the stigma surrounding it.
Talking about mental health can create a powerful impact on the world.
Here are just some of the reasons why:
Knowledge can end the stigma surrounding mental health
With knowledge comes power. There’s often a misperception surrounding mental illnesses and many may believe that they are not as valid as physical ones. However, this misconception is far from the truth. Mental illnesses are just as valid and as life-threatening as physical ones.
Education through conversation could easily help normalize mental illnesses for what they are. They are illnesses that affect one’s mind, body and every aspect of life. If you aren’t feeling mentally well, it has the same impact as a physical illness would.
Consider this, if someone is suffering from a cold, chances are they’d call in sick to work or skip class for the day. The same should go for someone who is not feeling mentally healthy. For many, it could feel nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning. Informing others could help everyone to be more mindful of people struggling with mental illnesses.
It provides a safe place and allows people to feel included
In a world filled with billions of people, it’s easy to feel like you are alone. Through discussing mental health issues, people can learn about those who are in the same situation.
This provides a safe space for people to express their feelings and allows the topic to become desensitized. As a result, it gives an outlet for people while also helping them cope with the situations they’re in. Additionally, it can help others understand that mental health IS health.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “in any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.” With such a large number affected by mental illness, it’s crucial to debunk stigmas and provide knowledge to properly depict mental health.
It can encourage people to seek help
It’s not always easy to seek help. The normalization of mental health can encourage those in need to seek the help they require. If people are able to see the coverage around mental illnesses, it can make success stories seem possible. It can also support people going through difficult times.
It’s important for people who are struggling to know that it is okay to not be okay and seeking help WILL work. No matter what someone may be going through, knowing that other people have gone through the same thing and have gotten past it applies a level of comfort.
Above all, advocating for mental health is vital to creating a safe and inclusive world for those who feel unaccounted for.
Nobody ever deserves to feel like they are going through something alone. It’s our job to stand up, educate, and end the stigma.
You’ve got this.