Mental health matters: here’s how to help

The beginning of the school year is finally here.

It’s a time to reunite with old friends, and to make some new. For some it’s sadly a time to have to endure many struggles, whether it be academically, physically, socially, or mentally.

Throughout the year, many students (and staff!) will go through rough patches regarding their mental health. In fact, some may get sent away to a psychiatric hospital to better themselves mentally.

There are plenty of reasons why someone could be struggling with their mental health. The causes are almost never the same from person to person. They may have similarities, but are rarely, if ever, in the same situation.

In all honesty, I can personally tell that some people are already in a difficult place mentally, myself included. If you see this in a friend, offer your support. If they shut you out or start to withdraw themselves from social situations, you can report them to Safe2Say. They may get upset with you, but they have to know that it was in their best interest.

Even I had to report a couple of my friends for depression and potential suicide.

Many people take Safe2Say as a joke. In actuality, it can be a helpful tool. It’s not just there to rant anonymously to people. Safe2Say actually reads into each and every situation, and does actually take action. A few students have been sent to the guidance office from it.

In order for them to be prepared for the situation, I would recommend letting them know what could be about to happen. That’s something I never did and I regret it deeply. It fractured some of my friendships and it made me feel really guilty. You never know when someone could actually be helped if you just speak up.

Sometimes, however, the person you feel the need to report is yourself.

This past February was the start of my focus in mental health. I ended up opening up about my mental health and got sent to a psychiatric hospital because of it. My mental health was bad enough to the point that I was considering suicide. I’m fairly sure that everyone involved can remember that occurrence pretty clearly.

If it wasn’t for my courage to open up about my depression and anxiety, I wouldn’t be the same person everybody sees me as now. I may not even be here today.

As the school year has started again, though, I can feel my own depression and anxiety going haywire. If you know me and see me, I may look miserable. That’s because, in my head, my mental health is having an all-out war, taking a toll on my energy.

It’s a lot to process all at once.

If you’ve never dealt with mental health issues, you’re considered lucky. Most people have gone through or will go through some sort of mental health issue. Many people never truly get better in their struggles. Some, unfortunately, will die because of it.

I know that this is a dark topic. I’m aware that a lot of people are uncomfortable with the whole thought of it. I am also aware that many people see the stigma that comes with admitting to mental illness. My hope is that one day, mental illness can be talked about freely, and hopefully get people like me better access to help.