Stand Together students are having conversations about mental health, substance use disorders, and stigma all the time, but we want to take the time today to emphasize how important talking about mental health is and how much of an impact it can have on an individual’s life.
1 in 4 students are affected by a mental health condition in a given year. That means out of a group of four friends, one of them will experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, or trauma that year. That’s a lot! And the data shows that this is clearly a problem:
-suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in 12-18 year olds
-90% of individuals that complete suicide have a diagnosable mental health or substance use disorder
-6 out of 10 adolescents that are experiencing mental health concerns don’t receive treatment
And these conditions not only affect an individuals mental health, but other areas as well:
-poor academic performance (aka not doing well in school)
-absenteeism (aka not going to school)
-behavior problems (fighting, outbursts, etc.)
-24-44% don’t graduate from high school
-those that don’t graduate are 12x more likely to be arrested
So after all of those sad statistics, what can we do? TALK ABOUT IT! Now is that time! Today is a great day to have a conversation about mental health.
-Ask someone how they are feeling and truly listen
-Reach out to a friend that you haven’t seen in a while and see if they want to do something.
-Don’t use stigmatizing language, such as ‘crazy,’ ‘bipolar,’ ‘freak,’ etc. and when others say those words, use it as an opportunity to educate them about mental health conditions.
-Be open, honest, and genuine; share your own experiences and respond with empathy.
-If you know someone is struggling or has a mental health condition, treat them the same; they are the same person-they are just like everyone one else, but they just happen to have a MHC. *person-first*
-Most important, just be there and remember SHE: support, hope, and encouragement.
Check out the Time 2 Talk website for more information.
Take the time to talk about mental health today. You could be the difference in someone’s life. Don’t waste that opportunity!
-Written by Danyelle, Project Coordinator
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