College can be one of the most stressful times in a young person’s life.
Mental health challenges are on the rise among teens and young adults, but just knowing that is not enough.
There are a plethora of factors contributing to the overall growth of these statistics, however a lot of it has to do with miseducation about the subject of mental health.
Terms used to describe mental challenges, such as depression and anxiety, get thrown around a lot more frequently and casually than necessary.
Many young people have mistaken emotion with mental illness and tend to self-diagnose through friends, family and/or social media, rather than figuring out what’s wrong and getting real help if needed.
Some may have symptoms of a mental illness and brush it off as “I’m just really emotional” or “I’m just a little anxious.”
While others will do the exact opposite where they may have strong emotions or feelings and assume they have depression, etc.
The problem is not so much that depression and anxiety is on the rise, but that schools and society are not pushing to advocate educating teens and young adults on mental health.
Bottom line is the duty of properly educating young people on mental health and symptoms of mental illness is not being fulfilled.
Delta has recently taken part in the establishment of one of its newer clubs, Active Minds.
This club is part of a national organization that advocates for mental health awareness and provides resources for students who think they may have mental health problems.
Now that Delta is steadily encouraging talking about mental health, I think it is time to think about what it can do to teach students about the subject from an educational standpoint.
“I think if Delta College were to have a course about mental health it would be really beneficial,” said Celine Pham, president of Delta’s Active Minds chapter. “A lot of us that come here don’t come from homes that are educated about mental health.”
If more people receive thorough education on mental health as a sociology or psychology course, it will potentially help cure the stigma of mental health as well as debunk any false accusations about mental challenges and illnesses. This is a very gray area in the sense that there are a lot of different misconceptions about mental health.
For instance, miseducated people tend to go label people who are diagnosed with mental challenges as “psycho”; many people believe that if you have money and a good life, that you can’t possibly have mental health issues; talking about mental health is annoying, taboo or nobody’s business, etc.,
For these reasons, young people have a hard time discussing mental health because either they are scared of judgment based on these misconceptions, or they feel like they don’t know enough to speak on it.
We are missing a large area of study that goes beyond standard psychology courses.
This is about creating an environment where more people can be aware of specific mental health disorders, without feeling like it’s a taboo subject to talk about more in-depth.
It is just as important for people to be educated about the subject as it is to talk about it in a designated club or amongst peers.