Mental Health Awareness Month

Natalie Laurent

April showers spring May flowers, the month of May brings sunshine and warm weather, a combination people haven’t seen in a while since leaving behind a long winter here in Nebraska. What also happens during May is bringing attention to Mental Health.

Mental health awareness month brings attention to ways to live a healthier life. Such as taking care of your body. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation offers these tips for anyone to help keep in mind when aiming for a healthier lifestyle mentally and physically. Drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep. People need to make themselves a priority and take care of their bodies first. Exercising often can boost a person’s mood and help decrease anxiety and depression. Staying off social media and taking a break is also a tip listed by Brain Behavior, reducing the distraction of the media helps steady the brain and reduce stressful situations. These tips are essential to taking care of one’s body and brain.

“Personally, I feel that the warmer weather definitely helps my mental health, it gets me motivated to get out and be active,” Maycee Fagan said, “I like to engage in physical activity that helps me get moving and not just laying around feeling trapped.”

No one can know what is truly going on in someone else’s head. Checking in on friends and family is another aspect when bringing up mental health awareness. Even checking in on a stranger is all it takes to change someone’s life. When approaching someone who has or might have a mental disorder a person could take into consideration these suggestions by Colombia Research Center. Let people know they are cared for, that they shouldn’t feel judged or like a burden to the person reaching out to them, give them ways to seek help, and most importantly don’t diminish a person’s problems.

“Just because a person doesn’t show they’re struggling on the outside, doesn’t mean they’re not struggling on the inside,” Sam Beran said, “If it affects someone it affects them you can’t just dismiss their feelings.

Bringing awareness to mental health also includes educating the impact of the many mental illnesses people endure every day. People who cope with a mental illness face battles every day that just by passing by someone might not even notice.

Although there is no exact cause of a mental disorder, conditions such as heredity, biology, psychological trauma, and environmental stress can all be factors involved when diagnosing, according to WebMD. If someone is experiencing symptoms of a mental disorder the first step to take is to go see a doctor for help and try to find the answers to a person’s internal struggles.

There is no set cure to mental disorders, there are a lot of effective treatments and options someone with a mental disorder might go through. Therapy is an option for anyone struggling and who just wants to seek out clarity or a safe place to express their feelings. A therapist may also guide a person through tough situations when faced with these internal conflicts. Therapy isn’t always the first option when treating someone with a mental disorder, it may not work for everyone. Same with medications and supplements which are also used to treat people with mental disorders. Within each mental disorder, there are levels of severity and what steps to take first when treating someone.

“For me personally I like to pray if I am faced with a difficult or stressful situation in my life, or go outside to clear my head,” Sam said.

Having one or more mental illnesses can be burdening to oneself, but it does not make that person a burden to society. It is imperative that when bringing awareness to mental health that people clarify having a mental disorder does not make anyone less of a person or less cable of someone without a mental disorder. As well as taking care of our bodies should be a top priority.

“I feel like people need to come to a clearer understanding that there are many different factors that can impact a person’s mental health, and everybody copes differently,” Maycee said