Mental Health Awareness

N. Spells, Asst. Sports Section Editor, Staff Writer

Mental health can affect an individual’s physical health, relationships, and quality of daily life. Mental health is often described as the absence of a mental illness, but there is not always a clear line between mentally healthy and mentally unhealthy. Many conditions are often written off as stress or being busy, but even if a person does not have a mental disorder, talking to someone trained to help could be very beneficial for their mental health. 

A common misconception is that a person has to have a mental illness to have a therapist or talk to a psychologist. However, sometimes, a person just needs someone to help them solve a specific issue that could have been bothering them. We interviewed our school psychologist Natalie Wiggins to get clarification about some of the misconceptions about mental health. When we asked Wiggins about some of the things she wished people knew about mental health she responded, “I want people to understand that everybody needs help sometimes or even on a consistent basis. Some people don’t understand that there is nothing wrong with seeking help when you are struggling with something. It doesn’t mean that you have a mental illness. It could just be that you are going through a tough time and you need to just talk things through, help making decisions, or have someone to listen.” We then asked how the stigma around mental health got in the way of people getting the help they need. She told us, “There are a lot of negative feelings and a negative mindset towards receiving help from a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. It is so important for your mental health to make sure that in addition to your physical health, you put the same amount of time into your mental health. For example, using self care, or if you need to go see someone like a therapist you need to do that because that is such an important part of you wellbeing.”

She left us with an important quote: “It is okay if you need help. Please get the help that you need to be healthy and happy.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling refer them to this link to make an appointment with their counselor.