By Ava Kesler
With the new age of digital technology, mental health awareness has become more prevalent than ever. We often hear about it in schools, with mental health support systems in place to help educate students, but very few actually take it seriously. The term mental health awareness has come to be associated with a cover that schools use to make it look like they care about their students.
But mental health issues are more common and more urgent than we may think.
1 in 5 US adults experience a mental illness, with the highest being LGBTQ and multiracial groups. Yet less than half generally receive treatment.
Anxiety disorders in particular are the most common. Of course, mental health disorders lead to difficulties in life, and often contribute to difficulties in school and in finding a job. In fact, 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have a mental illness.
Various mental disorders are so significant in younger populations that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in those 10-14 years old and 3rd in those 15-24 years old. Less than half of those who commit suicide are diagnosed with a mental disorder, while over 90% had symptoms because of the stigmatism around diagnosing a disorder.
Mental health issues are often correlated with physical health problems. Genetics, motivation to self-care, ability to concentrate, support systems, and demographics are all factors that contribute to both types of health.
Exercise and eating a healthy diet are the easiest ways to solve these problems, but an endless cycle forms when depression prevents one from actually carrying them out.
During this mental health awareness month of May, hopefully this will help open your eyes to the critical challenge of maintaining your mental health. Mental health is something that should be taken seriously, and there's no better time than now to start caring for yours.
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