The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint-Educate yourself on mental health issues

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Alyson Oliver
campus editor

I think of mental health aware-ness as studenthood above all else.

It requires a commitment to edu-cation, not only about experiences that are personal, but perhaps most impor-tantly, experiences that are not.

Mental health advocates have made lots of progress in terms of spreading knowledge and destigma-tizing mental illness. The word is out that mental health is as important as physical health. Seeking help is any-thing but shameful, and people should be validated and supported in their struggles. But there is still work to be done.

For instance, we need more awareness for mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder. The terms “OCD” and “bipolar” have been inappropri-ately used as adjectives to “being organized” or “having mood swings.” This strips them of their gen-uine meaning and gravity.

We need more awareness for ill-nesses that have been sensationalized, demonized and stigmatized in news and entertainment. Some examples of these are schizophrenia and dissocia-tive identity disorder.

We need more focus on how mental illness impacts people of color and the hurdles that make it more dif-ficult for them to access treatment. Diversifying mental health care to ensure everyone receives the most effective care possible, while also weeding out discrimination, is vital.

We need to ensure mental illness is truly being destigmatized – not just commodified for profit. While com-mercialization is inevitable, people must realize mental health awareness and advocacy are far more than con-venient selling points for companies and influencers. These topics, amongst many others, all deserve more attention. We need to commit to informing our-selves and viewing mental health in a way that allows us to acknowl-edge nuances. We need to broaden our scope beyond the issues that impact us personally. It’s time to take action by learning, educating and enriching the ongoing conversation surrounding mental awareness and advocacy are far more than con-venient selling points for companies and influencers.

These topics, amongst many others, all deserve more attention. We need to commit to informing our-selves and viewing mental health in a way that allows us to acknowl-edge nuances. We need to broaden our scope beyond the issues that impact us personally. It’s time to take action by learning, educating and enriching the ongoing conversation surrounding mental health.

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