Last week, the President’s wife, Mrs. Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Kate Middleton, kicked off an initiative to shine light on mental illness. Mental illness is a problem that is popping up from rural towns to big cities and even further. Women everywhere are having a conversation about mental illness. For a long time mental illnesses was dealt with in secrecy. In fact, there is so much shame and discrimination associated with mental illness that the person/people involved are considered weak and incapable. But mental illness is more prevalent than the average individual is aware.
Statistics show that about 1 in 4 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. An estimated 58 million people from the ages of 18 and older are presently suffering from mental illness. The statistics with college students who suffer from mental illness are similar to the stats of adults who do the same. 1 in 4 college students also suffer from mental illness. So, one out of four people an individual encounters on a college campus is suffering from a mental disorder. Along with mental illnesses, 80% of students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities, 50% of students struggle with school and 40% of those students do not seek help. College students have to deal with the stigma associated with mental illness, the struggle to graduate, and limited resources for individuals suffering.
An individual who suffers from mental disorders is often left to his or her own devices. If a person suffering with mental illness does not recieve treatment then he or she could be considered a “loaded gun with a hair line trigger.” He/she is on the verge of going off at the slightest touch. As a society, we are all aware and have witnessed the results of the individual who did not have access to mental treatment. It is time to peel back the layer of shame and to fully deal with mental illness. Society can no longer ignore or attempt to cover up mental illness. It is a real problem and until society collectively move to help , then the problem will persist.
For more information about mental health go to the National Institute of Health Website or www.nimh.nih.gov
Editor : Keyontai Redding