Mental Health Awareness

Why is it so Important?


Many people improve their mental health by getting out of the house and sitting at the beach. Taken November 16, 2020 by Devyn Weed.

Devyn Weed, Staff Writer

     Spreading awareness about mental health is essential, as it is so prevalent in today’s society. With everything going on in people’s lives, it’s important to keep their mental health in mind.

     Many people are living with mental health disorders every day. The National Institute of Health (NIH) states, “About half of Americans will meet the criteria for a DSM-IV [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] disorder sometime in their life, with first onset usually in childhood or adolescence.” Chances are, everybody knows someone with a mental health disorder.

     There are many types of mental health disorders. Some of the most common ones are anxiety with around 42.5 million US adults affected, addiction with around 19 million US adults affected, and depression with around 17.3 million US adults affected.

     Although half of the population is affected by a mental health disorder at some time in their life, many do not receive treatment. Awareness is especially important for people who can’t afford to get treatment or feel as though the stigma around getting help is something to be ashamed of. 

     With the stigmatization around mental health, it can be damaging to those who suffer from mental health issues. The NIH states, “Both public and self-stigma may be understood in terms of three components: stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.” Many people who are not properly educated on the topic may stigmatize it because they don’t understand it.

     One stigmatization in mental health is not believing that seeking help is important. People may believe that it’s just something you have to live with because so many people have it. 

     Sure, many people have mental health issues, but mental health is just as important as physical health. “Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, poor mental health can negatively impact on physical health,” says the Mental Health Foundation. Everybody will experience a physical illness such as the flu, but taking medicine isn’t something frowned upon. 

     “It’s important to have good mental health because it allows you to build and maintain healthy relationships with family, friends and coworkers. It also gives someone a sense of confidence and the flexibility to teach others and to learn from others,” says Mrs. Jennifer Soldi, the social worker at Foran.

     People who want to seek help for a mental health issue should contact a mental health professional to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan. It is also important to have people that support the journey in getting treatment. 

     If someone wants to improve their everyday mental health there are many ways to do so. “Students can improve their mental health by limiting their time on social media outlets, exercising, eating healthy, staying away from alcohol/drugs and getting enough sleep,” says Mrs. Soldi.

     In today’s society, it is important for people to educate themselves and others on mental health. It can help stop the stigmatization and give people the resources and knowledge to get the help they need.