Mental health taking center stage


Nina Filippi, Managing Editor

We make sure our body has enough food and water to get us through the day. We take care of ourselves whenever we get sick or need a break. If we take care of ourselves physically, how do we do it mentally?  Mental health has gotten a bigger focus in the past few years, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization says that “there has been increasing acknowledgments of the important role mental health plays in achieving global development goals”. They also report that there has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions. Pinerest reports that bad mental health affects “19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers, and 13% of children each year. People struggling with their mental health may be in your family, live next door, teach your children, work in the next cubicle, or sit in the same church pew”.

If a person has an anxiety or mood disorder, it is a major player in a person’s mental health. It can disrupt a person’s life, no matter how big or small. Many people don’t seek help because of the stigma around mental illness, a reason why the coverage of effective treatment remains low, even with the awareness of mental health increasing. School counselor, Mrs. Mann, says, “Depression is a common, serious, and treatable brain disorder impacting 15-20% of teens before adulthood”. A few of the warning signs of depression are:

  • Depressed mood or irritability
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Change in weight or appetite
  • Change in sleep
  • Feeling sped up or slowed down
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or acts of self-harm

On the bright side, there have been many new ways to combat the negative effects of anxiety and depression. Online therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years because of its accessibility, cost, and convenience. Many apps tracking mental health have also been created, along with “new ways to access help, monitor progress, and increase understanding of mental well-being”, Pinerest says. If you’re struggling with your mental health, you can contact the (still finding) for help. Opening up to friends and family can also be an option if possible. “Everyone’s journey to get there is unique”, says school counselor, Ms. Matijevic. “Good mental health is not a final destination; it’s a continuous journey as it is something that needs constant maintenance”. She also says that learning coping skills, your triggers, and even your specific symptoms, is the best way to take care of your mental health.