Commentary: Your Mental Health Matters

Main+quad+facing+the+counseling+and+attendance+offices

Maria Milligan/Foothill Forum

Main quad facing the counseling and attendance offices

Maria Milligan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In a time of stress, increasing depression and heartache, take your well-being seriously. You matter!

With Covid-19 taking a huge toll on the lives of students and those in the workforce, it has become hard to focus on something that should be high, if not the highest, on our priority list: our mental health.  

Depression and anxiety are serious mental illnesses and should be circled with more awareness. 21% of US adults will experience a major depression disorder, and 3.1% will be affected with general anxiety disorder. 1 in 20 children, aged 6-17, struggle with one or both of them according to the ADAA.

As a person who has battled with depression first-hand, I can truly tell you that it does not define you, it is not the sum of your character or your life. Despite what may occur in it, it is worth living. 

You don’t have to be an all-A student to be enough. You don’t have to be the unrealistic teacher that gets every single one of your students to pass for you to be regarded as an effective teacher. You don’t have to work multiple jobs and stress yourself out to the point of a breakdown trying to reach unrealistic expectations. You are human. Not Superman. 

As you adjust to the changing times and the growth of yourself, remind yourself that you are human. Both beautifully and imperfectly human. 

With more time spent on social media as a way to pass the time during quarantine, both because of boredom and learning how to bake bread, it can be oh-to-easy to compare ourselves to other people that show up on our feeds. How others may look, how they are living their lives and even how their body looks next to ours.

The simple solution would be to get off social media, which, unfortunately, is the only way many can truly connect with others during this temporary time of social distancing.    

 For a lot of people that just may not seem possible as it is a means of socialization, expression, and/or distraction. And that’s okay. Take the time to filter out your feed so when you do see it so it doesn’t make you feel like you should be doing this or you could´ve been doing that. You are right where you need to be.

You are going through a global pandemic, and you´re not alone. Take it easy on yourself. Remember that your mental health is such an important aspect of your well-being. And if you are holding on as best you can, that’s okay, keep holding on because better days are coming. 

Here are some helpful resources and links for those of us experiencing hardship:

Meet with a counselor: https://go.oncehub.com/Counseling

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663