According to research conducted by the American Psychological Association, more than one-third of first-year college students struggle with a mental illness or mental health issue. Because this number has increased significantly over the past decade, colleges and universities around the world have started to take action within their own communities and beyond to address the issue. By hosting awareness events, educating community members, and providing accessible mental health resources, students and faculty are starting to work towards ending the stigma on college campuses.
As I reflect on the positive impact that my mental health advocacy work has made on my own community and recognize the importance of bringing that same energy and dedication to college with me. If you want to take action in your own community or school, but aren't sure how to get started, I encourage you to reach out to local organizations and ask about events in your area that you can participate in.
It's 2019. It's time to change our society's skewed and stigmatized perception of mental health. It's time to stop sweeping the idea of mental illnesses under the carpet. It's time to stop shaming people for showing their emotions. It's time to stop pushing people who struggle with mental illnesses into the shadows. It's time to remind the people around you that they are loved, that it is ok to not be ok, and that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get to work!