The Importance of Mental Health


Emily Carpenter, Junior Staff Writer

Last week, the school briefly celebrated mental health and the importance of confronting what may prove to be an uncomfortable feat that contains self reflection and a battle that no one else recognizes. Mental health is of primary concern for teens in today’s society, and appears in many forms that are masked by self doubt, deprecation, and destructive behaviors that are detrimental to not only cognitive development but physical as well. It would be superfluous to highlight the exterior signs of depression, anxiety, or any other type of harmful “disorder”. We all know what it the signs of an unwell individual, and to address them would not benefit the promotion of rehabilitation in any way. Every year, students across the nation hear the same speeches that are recited robotically with little interest as to whether or not they are effective. The repetitiveness of the school’s statistics on teen suicide has proven time and time again that the only reason we have these “mental health awareness” weeks is to make the school system feel like they are contributing to something other than our education and is a weak attempt at “caring” and “addressing the issue” of mental health. These monotonous words do not inspire change or encourage self satisfaction, they are only said to make students “aware” of the issue facing schools across the world. We are all aware of it, and we most definitely do not need to be reminded of it.


We are placed in the middle of the disparity and agony of self defeat and loathing everyday, we do not need to be gently reminded that these behaviors are eroding our well being and weathering away our motivation. I think that students and adults alike are all understanding of the weighing effects that depression places on us. Instead of making students listen to a school counselor on the intercom for forty seconds, we need to be able to comprehend our own mind and spirit. True, our environment plays a role in our behavior, however most of our struggles live inside our own heads and let the darkest parts of us take control of our actions, resulting in the neglect of our surroundings altogether. Much of what comes from the textbook definitions of mental disorders has been disputed and rebutted to the point of losing its facts and evidence that has lead to such conclusions. Putting a definition on depression generalizes the masses and confines people to a stereotype that excludes many people.


Mental health is not a topic of secular or terrestrial matters, it is one of individual and personal experience which can cause it to be increasingly difficult to confront and examine. Self reflection is one of the hardest concepts of our lives, and can only be achieved individually without any outside factors influencing us. The important questions we must ask ourselves are always laced with confusion. Who are you?Who do you strive to be? How are you able to separate yourself from the normality of life? These questions will never be concluded with a single definitive answer, however if we keep asking ourselves these and reverting to them in times of crisis we can better understand what it means to truly be ourselves. The complicated part of living our lives is that we are never the same person twice. You are not the person you were yesterday, and even with the slightest adjustments it still becomes noticeable. If you are not the same as you were yesterday, then you most certainly are not the person you were years ago. Your “routine life” is not as bland and tedious as you may believe. Under the same schedule, you have a multitude of different emotions. Maybe yesterday you felt offset, like you were out of place. Today you may feel like you are included and have a strong sense of comradery with the people around you. Tomorrow will not replicate the day before and holds secrets that cannot be discovered without remembering who we are. Regardless of your emotions, you are always permitted to feel something no matter what that may be. Our emotions drive us to prosper and unite and are not something to be taken for granted. Regardless of whether or not these sentiments are beneficial has no meaning. All that matters is that you are feeling something. Feeling the way your heart beats to keep you alive, the way your body moves to transport you to your final destination, the way your mind allows you to think for yourself and expand into a vast and unimaginable force that advances you to truly reveal your identity. Mental health is not something to be minimized to a simple phrase, definition, or reminder of what it is. It is something more beautiful and pure than that. Mental health is not an obtainable, tangible object that can be grasped with our bare hands, it is our dimension of living and our way of life. Whether you seek to modify or preserve it is completely up to you. No matter the circumstances, you are in control of your own doubt that resonates within you, and it is your job to either revel in the pity of it or demolish the essence of it.