South Hills High School

Commentary: It’s time we talk about mental health

Mental health is an issue that no one wants to talk about, and it is treated like a taboo subject that doesn’t “need” attention. Roughly 43.8 million people in America suffer from a serious mental illness and 56 percent of these people don’t receive treatment.

Imagine having a universal problem with our well-beings, but hardly anyone recognizes it as a problem and those suffering don’t get the help they need. Oh, wait! That already happens! Around 44, 193 people kill themselves in the U.S. and it is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

As a young student, I frequently see my peers in school struggling to get through the day because of depression, anxiety, OCD, and other disorders. None of us share with each other the lonely nights we have hyperventilating with an emotional breakdown. We are expected to go to school the next day or stay in class when we feel an attack coming on. Every 1 in 5 students would have a diagnosed mental health, but many of them don’t seek guidance.

Mental health is seen as such a hush-hush situation, but why?

Despite millions of people suffering from a mental illness, there is a lot of discrimination and disregard towards the topic. Many individuals view it as something to be ashamed of and that those who suffer from it are just being “dramatic.” They are told that they’re not depressed, don’t have anxiety, or are just imagining things.

So, we keep quiet in fear of the judgements enforced by society and even those closest to us. Suppressing all these emotions can cause some to physically hurt themselves and internally destroy themselves. Even children grow up under the belief that being sad or upset is punishable.

It is important that everyone raises awareness on mental health and change their perspectives on mental health. On days like Mental Health Day, we must voice our want for change and stand by those beside us who go through so much just to get through the day.

For those who suffer from mental health: it’s going to be okay. I am with you. You’ll never be alone.

It’s time we erase our fears and replace it with courage to talk about this problem that quietly plagues us.

1 Comment

  • Reply Richard Coca October 24, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    You raise great points about why we need to pop the stigma around mental health. What other ways do you propose high school students talk about mental health? A follow-up article on this topic would be great.


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