Speak up for Mental Health

Beena Jacob ‘14
EE Staff Writer

In response to tragic recent events regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012, the public began to debate mental health.

Panic disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, depression; all of these are common names of mental health disorders in today’s society. Along with these disorders, there can be, at times, a stigma. However, attaching a stigma to serious mental health disorders is the last thing the public should be doing.

In today’s society, one would never hear, “Hey, it’s just diabetes, snap out of it!” On the contrary, why do some say this about mental health disorders?

Mental health disorders can correspond to a chemical imbalance in the brain. This imbalance can be hereditary or it can develop over time. In addition, environmental factors can play a role. Regardless, a person suffering from some mental health disorders, cannot help but find him or herself in the difficult position of facing mood altering imbalances, which can have an affect on daily activities.

As a result of the Sandy Hook tragedy, concern about mental health issues has been heightened. While mental health disorders cover a wide spectrum, with varying levels of severity, there is new concern that the moment one’s mental health is questioned, a patient might be thrown into a pool of discrimination.

Throughout history, acts of violence and destruction demonstrate lunatics and corruption exist, but those affected by mental health disorders cannot be targeted. The actions of those few who choose to make dark decisions should not create a bias against others suffering from mental health issues. Rather than victimizing those affected by psychological disorders, society should embrace such individuals with the moral support and equality they deserve.

Talk therapy, moral support and psychological treatment are nothing to be ashamed of. A pool of resources meant specifically for the treatment of those who battle mental disorders exist and can help establish a stable, supportive foundation. These assets should also be further developed.

Trumbull High School is one such place to find support. Schools such as ours serve as a haven, with a plethora of resources ranging from the guidance department, an Interventions Specialist, to the peer mediation program.

Friends, teachers and colleagues can come together to collectively recognize the truth; mental health issues are nothing to discriminate against, but rather something to gain awareness of and compassion for. Collectively, students can work together to create a sound environment and eliminate stigma, leading to a safer, more positive road ahead.

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