Recognizing and Accepting Mental Health Problems

The month of September is suicide prevention month.

Alexia Parisi

The month of September is suicide prevention month.

Alexia Parisi, Editor

With September as Suicide Prevention Month, mental health is an importatnt topic to discuss. In the last year many people have struggled with mental illness or disorders, especially anxiety and depression.


When asked about common factors in her clients, an anonymous mental health counselor answered, “I see a lot of anxiety, I definitely see a lot of depression as well. Also a lot of the time they don’t feel like they have support.”


Carleigh Rich, a counselor at Oakdale High School, noticed similar things to what the anonymous counselor mentioned: “Students don’t have an outlet a lot of the time, so they don’t have a way to express their feelings. They get so wrapped up in everyday tasks, or feeling overwhelmed by things that are natural and normal, they don’t take time to stop and process the feelings they are having.” 


In times like these, it is important to not only check on friends, but also to check on yourself. Take the time to pause and think about what you just did, or what you’re about to do. Take the time to reflect and process. Find a comfortable way to express yourself and your feelings. Journaling, sketching, talking, and physical exercise are all great ways to do just that, though those certainly aren’t the only coping mechanisms out there. Then check on the people around you. After making sure you’re okay, make sure your friends are too. 


One of the hardest parts about mental health is recognizing it and accepting it. As Mrs. Rich says, “There’s still a big embarrassment that people can feel when other people are aware of what they’re going through or when they know they’re going to therapy.”


One in five people ages 12-18 suffer from mental illness, according to  the Adolescent Mental Academy . It is more common than most people may think to have some form of mental illness. There is nothing embarrassing about it, but being in an environment that is comforting and soothing helps.


“You’re not alone.  I know it feels isolating and people may not get where you’re coming from and you may not know how to put things into words but you are not alone. There’s a lot of people out there struggling with many different things,” voiced an anonymous source.


Mrs. Rich expanded, “There are so many people that wanna help you. It could be anybody. Any adult at this school would go out of their way to help anybody at any point. If you need help in any way, all you have to do is ask,” she responded. 


If you are struggling with anything, it’s going to eventually be okay. Put yourself in a position where you feel comfortable. Spend time with the people who genuinely care about you and make you happy. You never have to stay in an environment where you constantly feel put down, or where you don’t feel like you belong. 


Sucide prevention hotline: 800-273-8255