Stigma Around Mental Health

Katherine Portillo, Writer

Dealing with Mental Health issues is very difficult, let alone dealing with these problems as teenagers, especially when we are barely figuring out who we are as people and what our purpose is.  By being educated on mental health we as people will be able to know how to help those who are suffering.

 

Some kids dealing with mental health issues may not know where a safe place to go and talk is due to the current stigma. By knowing what mental health facilities are offered in our community (and what they offer), will also assist the stigma around these mental health-related issues. 

 

As we see the talk of mental health begin to occur more often, we also begin to see places like schools become more accustomed to the talk of mental health. Downey High School has two full-time psychologists, Ms. Santong, one of the school psychologists shared a few words about the current stigma.

 

“I believe there is less stigma against [mental health] so think it is changing in a positive way,” Santong stated. “We are talking about it more, asking more questions we are willing to get support and help.”

 

As the word begins to spread in the communities on mental health, society slowly begins to see this stigma go away but this process needs to speed up in order to help those struggling and let them know they are not alone.

 

In our community, there are many places to go if you are in need. One of the local resources in Downey is Community Family Center. This facility located on Downey Ave. offers one on one counseling as well as family and couples therapy.

 

“As we grow as a society, I slowly see the stigma around mental health disintegrate,’’ Wanting to stay anonymous, a receptionist at local mental health organization stated. “By being vocal about our struggles we can all help one another.”

 

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Four out of five teens who attempted suicide have given clear warning signs. Talking about these statistics will spread awareness about suicide, which will be helping the current stigma.

 

People are afraid to talk about suicide because they don’t want to put “ideas” in people’s heads or they may just not feel comfortable talking about this topic. But as well as spreading awareness about this, you may also be saving someone’s life. A Student at Downey High School and mental health activist, Sade Neri shared her feelings on the stigma.

 

“Our society has to become more open, accepting, and provide adequate support for people struggling with their mentality,” Neri stated. “Especially with more and more people dying from suicide and other mental health issues.”

 

Mental health needs to be something that is commonly talked about in order to alert those who are suffering, that they are not alone in their battle. The stigma around mental health is slowly fading but does need to come at a more rapid pace.