By Sydney Myers and Natalie Zawolkow —
O’NEALS — Mental health is an inescapable part of life. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, we all deal with it. Which is why it is so important to not only monitor your own mental health, but to look out for the people around you as well.
Forget the stigmas. Mental illness is much more common than you might think. In fact, approximately 18.5 percent of American adults experience a clinically diagnosable mental illness each year. That’s one in every five people.
The most prevalent of those illnesses being depression, psychosis, anxiety and bipolar disorders — all of which can begin to affect a person’s performance in school, work, everyday activities, and can sometimes affect your physical well-being.
Often times, people suffering from these conditions will show symptoms early on, making it vital to keep the behavior of your family, friends, and peers under observation.
Some signs to watch out for are a general loss of interest in everyday activities and hobbies, withdrawal from family and social situations, and any other sudden, inexplicable personality changes. Addressing these symptoms as soon as they are noticed can make all the difference.
If you yourself are struggling with a mental illness or know somebody who is, visit mentalhealthamerica.net or the listed resources below for help and more information.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Central Valley Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-888-506-5991
Crisis Text Line: 741-741
Sydney Myers and Natalie Zawolkow are students at Minarets High School