“We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. It’s a state of well-being.”
This week at Western (Oct. 13-19) is Mental Health Awareness! As University students we undergo a lot of pressure from various aspects of our lives so it is extremely important for us all to monitor our own mental well being, especially during stressful times. It’s easy to let the stress consume your life by letting it build up inside you, but remember there is always someone here to talk to! You are never alone. I think we overlook the fact that there are nearly 40,000 other people here on campus experiencing the same burdens as us. I bet there is someone in your residence, or in your classes, or maybe even someone at home who feels the exact same way you do. And, I bet, there is someone closer than you think that is there to support you.
Sometimes we feel ashamed of our struggles, and this is completely natural. This is why it is important for us to return the favour, and extend a helping hand or lend a listening ear when someone is in need of support. So here is my challenge to you all… Show your good will to someone in need this week. It could be by opening the door for them, or chatting with them for a few minutes. It could be these small acts of kindness that turn someone’s day around!
Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
But we can’t let it stop there. If we want to eliminate all of the negative connotations that surround mental illness, we have to make every day a mental awareness day. We wouldn’t say it’s just depression, get over it. So instead of criticizing mental health, we should attempt to understand it. We all have mental health anyways, so why don’t we all make an effort to spread awareness?! We are all in this together, and it’s about time we showed it!
Sources: Canadian Mental Health Association