By Marisa Karpes, Columnist
In The Leader’s last issue, there was an article about the abundance of school shootings just days before one of the worst ones happened in Parkland, Florida.
Now the usual song and dance is happening where people don’t know whether to blame guns or the people, putting the nation in the predicament where we don’t get anything done because we can’t agree on what needs to be fixed.
So something needs to be done.
I’m calling for there to be a change on the mental health spectrum. The reason is not because I don’t think that guns are the problem, but because I know for a fact that other issues besides this one could be solved if more people sought help with mental health issues.
Everyone’s got issues. We all have our own experiences that have shaped who and how we are today. While yes, if we look on a global scale, we all live relatively good lives. However, in our own special ways, things get tough, and when things get tough, it is good to get some guidance.
Often, when people experience extreme hardships, whether through mental illness or a traumatic event, they are usually referred to a therapist to get treatment.
Therapy is a great way for people with these kind of issues. However, we should not just associate getting therapy as being just limited to that. Everyone can benefit from going to therapy, in fact, it would be most helpful for society if we all did it.
Take students for example. Students, while they may not necessarily go through the same issues adults do, still are bombarded with stressors from school work and exams to judgement from peers and bullying.
They are under tons, even too much pressure, for they are told that how well they do in school sets the tone for how well they will do in the real world.
On top of it all, these kids are figuring out who they are, and all of this stress is just deferring them from being able to successfully do that.
During my senior year of high school, I was having some pretty bad issues with my mental health. I felt very stressed and overwhelmed with the combination of my schoolwork and applications for college.
It got to the point where my mom picked up on it and contacted my high school’s social worker so I could start meeting with her to talk things through. It felt so good to do that almost every week, even when it felt like I had things in control.
Yet, I did not want to make it known to many people that I was seeing a social worker to talk about my issues.
Even though there was no shame in it, society still made it feel like there was. It should not be that way. If my mom had not stepped in, I probably would have not gotten the help myself. It would have been too discouraging.
But imagine if society did not put that stigma in people’s head. No, what if it became a norm for people? Think about all the stressors people could deal with, all of the issues they could just talk and let out.
We need to give people, especially young people, more resources for getting help, and make them aware of those resources. We need to take them seriously when things don’t seem right.
Most importantly, we need to make it so those with mental health problems could actually not feel weird about getting help. Those who do need serious help, as with many of those with the urges to harm others, will be identified and thus be more carefully dealt with. To not get their hands on the things that could harm people.
It’s okay to not be okay. If we can set the precedent for others by getting help ourselves no matter how major or minor the issue, we can solve issues that revolve around mental health without waiting for others to solve it for us.