Mental Health. Not Just Mental Illness

Mental illness gets a bad rep. Portrayed in movies as the crazy-girl-obsessed-with-the-dreamy boy, or the psycho-ex-who-just-can’t-move-on, mental illness is not seen in its entirety, and neither is mental health.

As well as this false image, mental health is constantly talked about hand in hand with mental illness- however that shouldn’t be the case. Mental health, yes, is important for people who struggle with mental illness, but should be seen as something much broader. You don’t need to struggle with mental illness to work on and maintain your mental health.

You may be wondering, “Why the hell is this article in the ‘health and beauty’ section?” Mental health is health. It is just as important as physical pain, and if anything, emotional pain can sometimes hurt even more. With the new year in full swing, I feel like it’s time to set the record straight.

A lot of times if you struggle with mental illness your mental health is something you pay a lot of attention to, something that you try to maintain on a daily basis. This tracking of your mental health and learning how to preserve it should extend beyond those who have a mental illness.

Mental health is something everyone should keep in mind. How things make you feel and how you deal with those emotions effectively should be top of peoples’ list. Figuring out the things that overwhelm you and how they affect your mental health should be a priority. Knowing that people, not just those that struggle with mental illness, have moments of being immersed in their pressures and knowing how to deal with those in a healthy manner is crucial.

As a society we need to educate ourselves and each other on mental health, thus shying away from the stigma that only those with mental illness struggle with maintaining mental health. Everyone’s mental health wavers in times of distress, grief, etc. It is the education that is missing. The education that everybody struggles with mental health issues, and the education of the tools everyone can use to then deal with those struggles. It’s the health classes ranking students hardships from a scale from 1-100 that sickens me. The conversations on mental health that are constantly swept under the rug and only touched on in one section of four years of health class, that burns me inside. The fact that resources are not constantly being presented, but only if you ask your constantly swarmed guidance counselor with over 300 students, and then maybe you will get a chance to speak. Mental health is not reserved for the mentally ill, and that needs to be known.

Everyone has days when they don’t know if their mental state can handle a day of school.

Everyone should take mental health days.

Everyone feels outside pressures that un-inspire them, forcing them to feel unmotivated, hurting their mental health.

Everyone should take mental health days.

Everyone has rough days that can feel like “just too much.”

Everyone deserves mental health days.

 

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