The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: Mental health matters

Ashanti Thomas

I know I tend to do some goofy or lighthearted articles most weeks as sometimes we deal with a lot going on in the world. This week, I wanted to focus on a topic that is a bit more serious. Mental Health.

A topic that as of late, has become more prominent and common.

I personally have struggled with mental health for around eight years now. Only three of those years were spent actually getting help.

Mental health is something that tends to be either completely shunned or completely welcomed. It is a very weird line to walk because you can never know how a person might react.

In recent years, mental health has become less of a taboo topic and more people have admitted they struggle with mental illnesses. These could include depression, anxiety, ADHD, ADD, and more.

While people do struggle with these different types daily, some still decide they want to belittle people with mental illnesses. This is shown in many forms, sadly it is more likely that the older generations do not understand some of the hardships that younger generations go through today.

A huge thing that bothers me to this day is the fact that mental illness is seen as not as valid as other more physical illnesses. I hear a lot of “oh, well your organs are not failing” or “it is not a physical problem.”

These people seem to forget that the brain is indeed an organ. It is a part of your body that can fail you and even though it cannot be seen on the outside, it is still a very real problem.

Mental illnesses are caused by brain abnormalities such as chemical imbalances, stressors, even your genetics can cause mental illness. People are not choosing to be mentally ill.

This is not something you wake up and decide you are going to do. Quite a lot of people do self-diagnose though which does cause problems in the mental health community.

Mental health is not something to pretend to have or glorify as many do. It is a serious problem for some and even can lead to their hospitalization or death. In fact, some statistics state that 1 in 5 Americans have some form of mental illness.

Mental health is not a joke and quite frankly, it needs to be talked about more, it needs to be taken seriously, and needs to be seen as a real problem.

Some resources available for anyone struggling with mental health; the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or local counseling services.

Kierstyn Budz can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Kierstyn Budz
Kierstyn Budz, Columnist
Kierstyn Budz is a senior English major. This is her first year at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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