Erasing the stigma of mental illness


Look to your left, your right, ahead of you, then behind. Statiscally, one of the people you just looked at has a mental illness. However, due to the shame that these brain disorders carry, very few people get the help they need.

In order to erase the stigma, schools need to provide more resources to those who suffer in silence.

More than half of mental illnesses begin by adolescence, meaning young people grow into isolation, believing their mental illness is a reprehensible secret.

If schools provided resources such as workshops, support groups, guest speakers and curriculum based off of recognizing the signs of mental illness as well as how to deal with it, students will feel more comfortable when it comes to dealing with their loved ones’ mental illnesses or their own.

Because these disorders live in the brain, a body part that we are told we can control, those who suffer from mental illness feel as if what they are going through is their fault. However, whether it is an over or underactive connection in the brain, mental illness is a real biological issue and can affect anyone regardless of race, gender or religion.

Those who live with mental illness do not have to suffer. They can live productive lives, have families and careers and socialize normally. There is a common misconception that those with mental illness cannot do day-to-day activities or are a safety risk to society.

However, we walk the halls with the mentally ill every day. We have the ability to coexist if only there was an open platform in which people felt safe and comfortable.

In order to prevent tragedies before they happen as well as bullying and feelings of isolation, there needs to be a stronger bridge built between faculty and the student body.

The signs of mental illness are not difficult to acknowledge, it’s just that people are not aware of what they are. We do our best based on our level of awareness. This is why providing educational resources and support systems is key.