World Mental Health Day

Written by: Kaitlyn

I’ve always been passionate about mental health and about changing the negative stigma surrounding it in order to make real, positive change in our care of people with mental illnesses. It's part of the reason why this club is so important to me. 

Mental health is something that has affected me, as well as my family, my whole life. I have seen first-hand the flawed healthcare system we have today and the blatant disregard that some people hold towards the legitimacy of mental illness. 

This NEEDS to change. 

It’s not only important that we raise awareness. 

We need to raise UNDERSTANDING. 

The reason for the lack of efficient care is largely due to the misunderstandings and misconceptions of what mental health is. 

Breaking a leg and having a panic attack should be treated with the same respect. One shouldn’t receive a cast, while the other receives an eye roll. 

We should not be ashamed to have an open dialogue about our own mental health and how we take care of ourselves whether that be through therapy, medication, etc. 

The lack of belief and the brush-off reaction many people receive when talking about their mental illnesses, shuts people down and silences voices that need to be heard. That need help. This negative stereotype is literally killing people. 

Here’s the deal: 

People who are suicidal aren’t attention seeking. People with anxiety aren’t avoiding others. People with depression aren’t lazy. People with a mental illness aren’t faking it. 

We are real. We need to be heard. Be respected. Get the help that we deserve. 

All of us deserve the opportunity to be as healthy as we can be. This isn’t a matter of attention or weakness. This is a matter of strength and of people having the ability to face darkness and struggles within themselves every day and to still wake up and say, “Let’s try this again. I can do it.” 

When people are fighting themselves, the last thing they need is to have to fight with others in order to be considered valid. 

They are valid. 

This isn’t an issue of annoyances. This is an issue of life and death and we need to do everything in our power to help. 

So listen. Understand. 

And together we can start making some real change in attitudes, policies and lives.