Mental health awareness is a must for today’s society

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The arrival of Disney Pixar’s “Inside Out” brought a lot of positive attention to how unpredictable our emotions are as people and how important it is to be supportive of those going through hard times. All of the attention that mental health has received lately in the media is bringing the public focus around important issues regarding depression, anxiety, and other common mental illnesses. It is important that we as a society take this public interest and do something meaningful to help victims of mental illness.

The arrival of Disney Pixar’s “Inside Out” brought a lot of positive attention to how unpredictable our emotions are as people and how important it is to be supportive of those going through hard times. All of the attention that mental health has received lately in the media is bringing the public focus around important issues regarding depression, anxiety, and other common mental illnesses. It is important that we as a society take this public interest and do something meaningful to help victims of mental illness.

Anxiety is the most common mental illness in America and affects nearly 18 percent of the population. Despite it being highly treatable, less than a third of those suffering from the illness receive treatment for it. Also, people who suffer from anxiety or depression can develop bipolar, eating, and sleeping disorders. According to a study done in 1996 by the Center for Mental Health Services, a staggering one in eight adolescents have clinical depression.

It is clear that mental illness is both highly prevalent and widely untreated in America, yet, many people still treat mental illness and specifically depression as a sort of personal emotional struggle rather than the mental disease it truly is. And this is a major issue because by making the true effect that depression and other mental illnesses can have on a person’s life seem in any way minimal, can cause a person to feel isolated and even responsible for their mental health issues.

Many people who lose their battle against mental illness end up committing suicide. Over two thirds of suicides in the U.S. every year are attributed to misdiagnosed depression. Many will often hurt themselves either through cutting or other means. This is why it is so important that we raise awareness for mental health, because if we as a society do not let our mentally ill know that they are not alone and that there is help and hope for recovery, they could end up hurt or worse.

It is important that we keep the current momentum of awareness going. Many blogs and other websites have even begun to create posts that list common signs that you or someone you know may be suffering from a mental illness and also the numbers for support lines for varying mental illnesses. The positive attention that mental health has been receiving in the media has caused many people to identify their illness and seek proper treatment for it.

It is crucial that we as a people stand in support of the mentally ill and continue to shed light on their situations because the risk is far too great to ignore. We have made many long and meaningful strides towards bettering the situations of those affected, but the worst thing for us to do would be to think that the mission is over.