Oct. 10 might have been just any other weekday to you. It might have been marked on your calendar because of an important exam or possibly the day a dreaded assignment was due, however, Oct. 10 was World Mental Health Day.
World Mental Health Day is a day that is designed to address this topic that seems to be shushed every other day of the year. Talking about your mental health should not be embarrassing — it is not awkward. It is a healthy way to release your pent up feelings and find relatable and effective ways to help counteract the stresses you face on a daily basis.
World Mental Health Day has been observed annually since 1992 with the ultimate goal of raising awareness and destigmatizing various mental health issues in an effort to mobilize support. In essence, the day serves as a platform for everyone to openly talk about matters that are all too often brushed to the side as being too taboo or inappropriate.
Mental health and its significance is exceptionally important on college campuses, where we as students are tasked with a million things and seemingly no time to breathe or relax. As Drexel students, we put everything (besides studying) on hold for ten week intervals and in the meantime, neglect the one thing we should be taking care of the most: our mental health. The American Psychological Association conducted a study in 2016 where they found that 52.7 percent of students felt a sense of overwhelming hopelessness while 39.1 percent felt depressed to the point where they felt it was too difficult to function. If applied to campus, this would mean that over half of our student population experiences hopelessness- the individuals we go to class with and the individuals we see everyday. And we get one day to fully acknowledge it and then what? What happens to our well being the other 364 days of the year?
In this day and age, adolescence and the early years of adulthood are increasingly becoming a time of drastic change and adjustment, with major life events occurring such as applying to college, leaving home for the first time and settling in to a first job. We don’t realize it but these events take a toll on our body, putting it under newfound stress and an entirely different sense of unfamiliarity. These life changes, and these new feelings, therefore have the potential to wreak havoc on our mental peace and that is exactly what is happening, especially in our generation. We see that with the advent and spread of technology, coupled with a faster pace of life and the addition of new challenges and changes, people’s mental health is suffering. People that we know, people that we love.
Personally, I feel that the words “mental health” have no place in the same sentence as the words “uncomfortable” or “disturbing.” As college students, we need to try and get rid of the misconception that our mental health is secondary to our academics. It is crucial for us to first understand that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Once we realize that our mental health is not something that can simply be ignored, others will start catching on and realizing as well. Your mental health is nothing to be ignored, it’s okay to ask for help, and most importantly, remember you’re doing the best that you can.