Are You as Aware About Mental Health as You Think You Are? 

Christina Kuriakose, Staff Writer

In today’s society, mental health has been discussed more and more. It has been brought to the media’s attention as to how important it is. However, there are many people who are not aware of the effects of mental health and what we can do as a society to improve it. Everyone needs to be more aware of this topic because it has a major effect on people’s actions and mood. 

I conducted a survey from a variety of people, from younger kids to parents, to see how aware people are of mental health. The younger age groups said that they feel anxiety and stress has a major effect on their mental health. It can come from school and sports. Some teachers try to make their scheduling with tests and homework aligned and even out to best accommodate and help their students, while others don’t. This can be very stressful because if you have practice until six o’clock, hours of homework, and a test the next day, it starts to affect you. 

Other things in school that can cause anxiety for students is having a teacher that they don’t feel a connection with. Students have said that if they don’t feel comfortable with a teacher, they either try very hard in their class or give up all together. This is a problem because students should feel comfortable and a sense of support wherever they go. Something we can do to help this issue is making sure students and teachers have a mutual understanding. The teachers should make the students feel comfortable enough to talk to them while maintaining a respectful relationship. Students should understand that the teacher just wants them to get their work done and help them improve. If they’re not putting in the effort, a teacher can’t help them. If both of these situations were improved, it could make a positive impact on kids’ mental health. 

In the survey, parents said that responsibilities can have a major effect on their mental health. Parents agreed that when having to maintain a job, family, social life, and taking care of their homes, they tend to get stressed out. It was said that parents often feel they have major pressure to be these unrealistically perfect people, when in reality they are human too.  A way to help this situation is to have good time management and bring awareness that society has an effect on parents’ mental health as well. Kids and other people in their lives should all have a part in helping out. Maybe the kids could take care of their own laundry and be assigned to making sure one room in the house is clean. Adults also said that the relationships they have in their lives have a major effect on their mental health. The people in their lives affect how their day goes, what gets thrown on them, and more. A way to help this is to make everyone more aware of healthy relationships and what they look like. 

Everyone should know what boundaries they can and can’t pass with a person, and how to be there for a friend. One adult said, “Certain relationships provide a support system for me. When I’m overwhelmed and feel anxiety building up, when I talk to these friends, they help me in a positive way. It’s more than just ‘venting,’ they build me up.” This shows how the people around you can really help out your mental health. On the other hand, the toxic relationships have a major impact as well. These relationships can ruin your day and make you feel unsafe. This can be improved by everyone being aware of their rights and having a safe place to go. Everyone should have somewhere they feel safe to talk about these issues, whether that’s a friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Everyone should also have an area near them where they can express how they are feeling and feel that they are going to be heard. One adult said “In the past, when I was in a toxic relationship, I felt like I had no where I could go. It felt like it was just something I couldn’t get away [from].’’ No one should ever feel like this, so we should have resources to go to for situations like this. 

In today’s society, mental health is brought up more than it has been in the past, but not enough. More people should be aware of the effects and importance of mental health. Also, we shouldn’t just be talking about these topics; we should be acting on them and making any appropriate changes to our system. Everyone always complains about how bad society is, but we have to remember that we are a community. If we want to see change and bring awareness, we need to be the ones to take action.