Mental Health Awareness

By Briana Ramirez

Mental Health Awareness Month is in May, and it raises awareness about mental health. Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness.

“Each year we… educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families,” states the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

‘Cure Stigma’ is an important cause, because stigma is toxic to a person’s mental health, because it creates an environment of shame, fear, and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. “I think stigma should be dealt with and removed, because that’s what is stopping people from getting help. It’s a problem that can be fixed if more people are aware of it. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it,” said Yahaira Campana, a freshman in the Tech & Media magnet.

There are people who advocate for mental illnesses, and make sure that those with a mental illness know that they are there to support them. Then there are also people who have experienced an “episode” because of a mental illness whether it was by a friend, family, or themselves and they know how to handle it or comfort that person.

Arisbeth Aguilar, a freshman from Justice & Law said, “You really have to be careful around them [the people with a mental illness] the smallest thing can trigger their mental illness.” What she means is that someone can’t be insensitive. Their words and body language have to make them feel welcome and safe.

This month is focused on mental health awareness, and many schools should as well. “I think it’s [mental illnesses] really unrecognized when it comes to other illnesses or diseases and should have more awareness. I have ADHD, and I hardly hear about it and other mental illnesses around school. I think that more people should be aware of it, because it affects most people,” said Abraham Ramirez. What he means is that at school there are days that are assigned to spread awareness. For example, breast cancer and staying drug free, and he thinks that the awareness of mental illnesses are equally important, if not more so. It would also benefit a lot of people as well. They can learn more about this, and try to understand it too.

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