Mental health: One thing not to take for granted


The advocacy of mental health is becoming more popular. People are being warned not to take their mental health for granted. According to the CDC, mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It can also determine how we handle stress, relate with others and make healthy choices. A person can experience poor mental health without being diagnosed with a mental illness. outlines certain warning signs of mental health problems. These include eating or sleeping too much, pulling away from people and usual activities, yelling or fighting with family and friends and the inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of kids going to school and work. The most crucial sign is when people begin to talk of harming themselves or feeling hopeless. Some people get early help, but others are not so lucky.

College students can have a hard time transitioning from high school into an entirely different system. For those who attend schools away from home, the total independence, family absence and pressure to make new friends can have its own drain on mental health. Statistics from The Zebra state that 73% of college students with mental health conditions have had a mental crisis on campus and 21.6% said their studies have been impacted by depression. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 67% of college students who were suicidal reported telling a friend.

Aside from college students, another group of people at risk of mental health crisis are public figures. The need to impress the public can be draining. The pressure of feeling the expectations of others on your shoulders can be overwhelming. During the Tokyo Olympics, world-renowned gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the team final ahead of the all-round final, individual vault event, floor exercises and uneven bars events.

In an interview with Insider, Biles used the quote, “We are humans too.” Biles highlighted how important it was for her to choose her mental health over the expectation the world had for her at the Olympics. Being the world’s favorite,her mental health was her personal responsibility in order to set an example for her fans.

“For so many years to go through everything that I’ve gone through, put on a front, I’m proud of myself,” Biles said in an interview on NBC’s Today Show. “I’m happy that I can be a leader for the survivors and bring courage to everybody speaking up, so I’m happy to be a voice for them.”

Sometimes, the people around us may not notice when we need help with mental health. For most people, attention is not paid to it until something drastic occurs. There are many resources available to anyone suffering from a mental health crisis. Texas Health and Human Resources outlines the resources outlined for mental health concerns, including crisis text lines, self-advocacy information, behavioral health collaborative grants and a national child traumatic stress prevention program.

For students at West Texas A&M University, help can be sought from the Students Counseling Center, located in the Classroom Center suite 116. Their services include personal and group counseling, as well as crisis management.

If you are in the Texas Panhandle and need help with your mental health, visit here.