By Tushar Nazmul
Your mental health is important. There is nothing to be ashamed about it if you are suffering from a mental health issue, but because of the society that we live in, we are made to believe that we need to keep all that inside and not talk about it. As a person of color who was born and raised in a brown household, I can confirm that, sadly, mental health is tainted. In the desi community, people are more focused and concerned about what the aunties and uncles have to say over taking care of their emotional well-being. The fear of rumors and gossip stops people from getting the help they truly need, which is not okay. People let judgment and outdated ideas about mental health stop them from getting the help that they deserve. We need to spread awareness and accurate facts about mental health so more people can receive the care that they deserve.
According to “The State Of Mental Health In America,” the mental stability of our youth is decreasing, last year, 9.2% of our young people suffered from depression, but now it is 9.7%. “The State Of Mental Health In America” also states that suicidal thoughts in adults increased from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018. The percentage of individuals in the United States who had serious suicidal thoughts grew by 0.15 percent. Without spreading awareness and having those awkward and tuff thought-provoking conversations about mental health among family, friends, peers, and coworkers, these statistics will get worse and worse.
Living through a pandemic is not easy for anyone; it causes and intensifies depression, anxiety, and many other mental issues. “Symptoms of Anxiety or Depressive Disorder and Use of Mental Health Care Among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, August 2020–February 2021” divulges that from August 19–31, 2020, to November 25–December 7, 2020, there was a considerable increase in the percentage of individuals who reported using prescription medicine or receiving mental health counseling (from 22.4 percent to 25.0 percent). The article makes it clear that an outbreak has a correlation with mental health issues. Mental health is a very serious thing, but a pandemic makes it even worse during hard times.
Spreading awareness and not shaming someone who is going through a mental health crisis is a great step into helping break stereotypes about mental health and paving the way for other people to seek the help they truly deserve and desperately need. If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental health issues or suicidal thoughts, call NYC Well at 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) or call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Being mentally ill is nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. Remember, there is help available for you; you are valued and you matter.