Mental Health Awareness- What You Can Do

Arunima Bhattacharya, News Writer

“Mental health” is a phrase that is often heard in a high school setting, and generally it comes with negative connotations. High amounts of stress, pressure to conform to social or cultural expectations, and low self-esteem are a few key causes of the mental health issues that almost 20% of high school students across the United States face. The issues that these students face now have a very large impact on their future: 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness develop by fourteen years of age, and 75% of cases develop by the age of twenty-four. The mental illnesses that are commonly experienced by high school students lead to more than 50% of these affected students dropping out of high school. Despite these possible negative consequences of mental health issues, there are steps that friends, family members, and communities can take to support the students that face these issues and help them through their struggles.

Friends and family members can actively work to create a positive environment. In a positive environment, thoughts and feelings can be shared comfortably, and this has been proven to help decrease the amount of stress faced by those with mental health conditions. Also, it is important to ensure that the person with a mental illness is aware that they are not alone. Communicating that they can depend on their friends or family members allows those that are facing mental health issues to understand that this struggle is not theirs alone, and that they have people who are willing to stand by them.

As the number of people affected by mental health issues is increasing, it is the job of communities and societies across the United States to increase awareness of these issues. By knowing more about the issues faced by a large number of adolescents across the country, we as a society can provide better help to them and create a stronger future society, including those affected by mental conditions. Sharing personal experiences regarding mental health can help others experiencing similar difficulties to learn about and manage their mental condition. Together, as a society, we can and we must reach out and support the people in our communities that struggle with the effects of mental health issues on a daily basis. By doing so, we can strengthen our future workforce and create a better society for the future.