The Voice

Mental health awareness:Change the narrative, change a life, change the world

Courtney lauver, Contributing Writer

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     People all over the world are speaking up about mental health today and while it’s no longer an entirely taboo subject, people still get side-eyed when the conversation switches to it. Mental illness can affect a person just as much as a physical illness and yet it is still not regarded as a serious condition or one worthy of missing a day of class.

     Having to trudge into a professor’s office to plead your case that you missed class due to a panic attack is likely to be regarded with a sigh and a reluctant run through of what you missed during class. There is the rare professor, however, who will understand and offer you consolation, but typically professors see it as an excuse to get an extension on a deadline. The mindset being that if you can’t see it, it’s not there.

     One out of four people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives. One fourth of the entire world’s population is affected by a mental related illness throughout their lives and it’s still regarded as a secret you’re supposed to keep.

     If you find out someone has a mental disorder, don’t be that person who asks to buy their medicine from them. They actually need those pills to function and you can get a high from something else, go away.

     “You’re so bipolar,” someone sneers at their friend like it’s an insult when the friend’s mood shifts.

      Little jabs like that can be offensive to people who are suffering from the disorder and shouldn’t be used lightly or insultingly. The general public needs to become more accepting of mental disorders and learn ways to help one another out.

     When someone is suffering from a mental illness, everything is different for them. Questions that may seem harmless and simple can stir up someone’s anxiety and cause his or her heart to start racing. Even simple tasks like walking across campus or going to the grocery store can become daunting and terrifying for people and there is no explanation for it.

      People don’t need to explain their mental illness to you. If they don’t feel comfortable, don’t be an asshole and push them. Let them set the pace for whatever it is and don’t make them feel bad about it.

      If you need someone to talk to about a crisis in your life, you can text the Crisis Text Line “HOME” to 741741 anywhere in the US free of charge. Their message is that if it’s a crisis to you, it’s a crisis to them and that text will put you in touch with a trained Crisis Center volunteer. To find more information go to www.crisistextline.org

 

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Mental health awareness:Change the narrative, change a life, change the world