Youth and Mental Health: Acknowledge and seek help

By Sanjana Karthik

In this day and age, it is often easy for us to get caught up in the vicious cycle of life. We treat taking care of our mental and physical health, as a task, as opposed to a necessity. We believe that “success” and “beauty” are the foundation of a happy life, but it is simply a matter of the way we live that determines our internal fulfillment. The way we perceive adversities and stress enables us to handle things in a compassionate and safe manner. Our perception of the world and the coping strategies we equip ourselves with can play a vital role in our health. People often believe that bad parenting is the cause of mental health conditions. Although it can be a factor, it is not the sole cause. Finding coping strategies and building relationships with family members is an opportunity to resolve a conflict that is embedded in relationships. Maintaining a balance between nourishing you’re well being and excelling academically, can be difficult when in high school.

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For some people it is easy to prioritize both, whereas for many of us it is difficult to integrate some elements and remedies towards bettering our health. Many of us allow “predominant” activities to take precedence over our health, as we end up suppressing emotions. Schools play a vital role in formulating youth’s perspectives on mental health, as the more it is recognized or placed value on, the more it can be prioritized by students as well. A culture of mental health normalcy and support is slowly being fostered in schools. However, students often ridicule these vital topics, increasing the stigma surrounding it, as they make insensitive jokes on the matter. These sensitive topics can often be devalued by the society through “jokes” and “stereotypes” that revolve around it. Along with the cultural implications and stigma presented in our communities, there comes misconceptions that stem from a lack of awareness as well. We view mental health as an isolated entity, but it is the product of our environment, our biology, genetics, and lifestyle. Mental health illnesses can often be the product of unresolved conflicts, which is why it is important to receive support in the earlier stages before they fester.

Counseling support is available for the purposes of developing interpersonal skills, resolving past traumas and experiences, strengthening relationships with yourself and other people as well. We must all learn to integrate taking care of our health into our schedules. Those who take care of their health, do not have more time than us, but simply prioritize mental health over other aspects of their life. Going to therapy, resolving tormenting worries, and taking time to rejuvenate are some recommended methods that many of us find to be resourceful throughout our day. It is up to each of us to adopt ways to take care of our mental health that align with our schedule, as it is the foundation of a healthy mindset and overall internal fulfillment.

About the author: Sanjana Karthik is a grade ten student from Semiahmoo Secondary. She tutors, and provides her leadership services to Volunteer Club, Study Circle, and Medhopeful at her school.