May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

CK is no stranger to tragedies, but there are support networks to prevent them

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May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness is vital, and people deserve to know how things can change because of it

Mental Health Awareness is vital, and people deserve to know how things can change because of it

Victoria Steffee

Mental Health Awareness is vital, and people deserve to know how things can change because of it

Victoria Steffee

Victoria Steffee

Mental Health Awareness is vital, and people deserve to know how things can change because of it

by Victoria Steffee, Editor

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Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month in the US, bringing attention to the invisible struggles many people face. Hosted by Mental Health America, this year’s theme is 4Mind4Body. It covers topics like animal companionship, spiritualism, balancing work and life, humor, and personal connections and the ways they can boost mental health.

This is an incredibly important topic. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one out of five adults experience mental illness in a given year, and 1 out of 25 adults cannot perform one or more major life activities due to their illness. Below is an infographic for children, aged 13 to 18, and their data is almost the same.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
The info graphic is a stark look at the issues faced by teens

The major concern when it comes to mental illness is suicide. It is the third leading cause of death for 10 to 24 year olds, only trailing behind accidents and homicide. Suicide is a difficult subject. People don’t know what to say, or they would rather not face the stark facts. Suicide has been around as long as humans, from a 4,000 year old Egyptian suicide note  to prison guards betting on a prisoner’s suicide. In recent decades there has been a push, especially in schools, for suicide prevention. At CK, this is mainly done by Youth Suicide Bullying Prevention (YSBP). A student led group that goes and gives presentations every year to freshmen. These presentations cover the impacts of bullying, groups at risk, and what people can do to help.

Schools are a difficult environment. Students have incredible responsibilities, with college admissions and a factory-like environment to contend with everyday for four years. It wears down on people, and they need all the support and understanding in the world to get through it.

Any sort of lapse can lead to heart wrenching consequences, like two suicides in a South Carolina high school, as well as several following attempts. That school is in the process of creating a stronger mental health program, and has set days aside for students to seek help and support.

Mental health awareness is vital. Support and understanding can save people who are at the end of their rope. May is not the only time of year people should acknowledge mental health; it should be a year long, 24/7 effort.

 

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. If you are struggling, reach out today. Someone is always there. Never be afraid to ask for their help. Ask friends, family, or even trusted teachers for help if you cannot call.

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