Healthy Minds

Kylie Williams, Staff Writer

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Mental Health: a good relationship with mental health is a necessity that deserves to be nourished by balance and positive practice in everyday activities. The mind is a beautiful thing, but if taken care of poorly it can become quite the opposite. 

The impacts of society show a plethora of negative effects on an individual’s mental health, that unfortunately are often recognized as only temporary. It’s common for people to undermine their lack of well being as just an “off day”, and become detached from their emotions by dismissing them, instead of feeling them. To make things easier, people don’t always recognize the truth of what they’re feeling, that is until it piles up to something harder to control. It goes without saying that talking about mental health can make people uncomfortable. It is understandably challenging to tackle a topic that plagues everyone on the global scale, in some ways more personally than one would like to admit. Thus, there remains a stigma surrounding the topic, which makes it hard to break through to close minded individuals, or even people who may be facing struggles they are hesitant to admit to. The stigmas created by society are often the reason why those who suffer from such valid mental health issues, would rather keep the truth hidden, like skeletons in the closet.

The New York Times recently published an article, by Elizabeth A. Harris, discussing television network HBO’s new campaign to discuss mental health and eliminate continuous misconceptions around it. The network wants to encourage the conversation and bring awareness to the truth behind the gray areas of some mental health related struggles and illnesses. The article discusses the project: “The network announced on Thursday a campaign to use its shows to increase awareness around mental health issues, highlighting characters’ struggles with conditions like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc..” 

It’s a hopeful thing to see major networks finding a way to reach audiences with something so important. The initiative is called ‘It’s OK,’ some episodes of shows will begin with an alert identifying the mental health challenges faced in the program.” The name of the movement is very reassuring, as the campaigners made it clear that their intent was to encourage open discussion around otherwise stigmatized issues. “The network stressed that these are invitations, not warnings, to audiences.” The use of major platforms to help raise factual awareness is a form of positive progression in going up against the continuous fight for a greater balance amongst emotional well being. Hopefully the campaign be a good reinforcement to the minds watching, and shed a new light to a topic rather undiscussed.

It’s not easy to work around stigmas of any kind, but when health becomes trivial by judgement, changes have to be made. Everyone deserves to recognize how they are doing, and not be ashamed if they find they’re not feeling so great. Mental health is a scale that can’t always be balanced, but what matters is that attempts are made to achieve a form of balance. It’s important to remember that no individual is any less for their circumstances, and the fact that all people coexist while trying their best to live their lives is enough to at least be respected.  

There is never a good enough reason to be silenced. If you’re ever in need there are places to receive help. Don’t let fear take away from thinking of how to better help yourself and others. The conversation starts now. 

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1-800-273-8255

National Hopeline Network- 1-800-784-2433