Mental Health Awareness: Take care of yourself and each other


Mental health awareness day is on October 10 every year. This day is dedicated to fighting stigma, providing support, and educating the public on how to support people with mental illnesses. The theme for this year’s mental health awareness day was “CureStigma”.


Mental illnesses do not discriminate. One in five Americans are affected by mental health illnesses such as, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, anorexia nervosa, and bipolar disorder; however, the stigma surrounding mental health oftentimes prevents individuals from seeking help.


What Can You Do To Help?

  1. Educate Yourself: In order to help someone battling a mental illness, you must possess a basic level of knowledge so you can be compassionate, respectful, and supportive. Oftentimes people who do not understand mental health battles find the solution to be simple: Depressed? Watch a funny movie. Anxious? Just “don’t worry”. Anorexic? Eat a burger and some fries. Not only are these solutions completely off base, they also desensitize the subject which can result in one further withdrawing and refusing to acknowledge his or her mental illness.
  2. Listen: Be a good listener and make sure the struggling individual knows he or she can safely confide in you. Give them the opportunity to open up and express their feelings, but do not pressure them to reveal everything. Always be empathetic, compassionate, and supportive.
  3. Encourage Him or Her to Seek Help: As high school students, there is little we can do to help our friends and peers besides listening and trying our best to do what we think is helpful. Make sure your friend knows that you will always have his or her back; but, encourage him or her to seek further help from a professional.


What Can You Do To Help Yourself?


There is no cure for mental health illnesses and different things help different people. Several students from Holy Family shared methods they use to cope with their mental health challenges in hopes of helping others who struggle with mental health illnesses.


“I remove myself from the situation and focus on something else that I like”


“I exercise and set time aside for self love and care. Just five minutes a day to sit and reflect”


“Meditate and sleep”


“I remind myself that I am not alone and think about how excited I am for the future”


“I listen to my favorite music and work out to distract myself”


“I go on car rides while listening to good music”


“I talk to my therapist, friends, or school counselor”


If you are currently battling any type of mental health illness, know that you are not alone and there are many people and resources to support you throughout your recovery.


If you notice someone struggling, let that individual know that you are there for them if they ever need to talk, cry, or scream.


Overall, simply spread love and empathy.


Hotlines for Help:


National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center: 800-784-6776

Crisis Call Center: 800-273-8255 OR text ANSWER to 839863

Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline: 630-482-9696

HopeLine: 919-231-4525