Mental Health Awareness
With all the festivities that enter our lives in October, it’s so important to recognize the “spooky” narrative of depression and mental health. October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, bringing awareness to the need for accessible and affordable mental health screenings, reducing the stigma towards depression.
This awareness is important to me as over recent years, with proper social support, access to health care, and personal growth, I was able to start my upwards climb against depression and finally be able to manage and facilitate my life. Once I was able to access resources such as therapy and skills groups, as well as starting medication, I’ve been able to help myself get better.
Depression is more than just sadness, and is formed by biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Everyone’s experience is uniquely different, and this means we should be trying even harder to work to create an environment where people feel comfortable seeking professional help, rather than being filled with fear or embarrassment. It is already daunting with resources and without the right resources and communities available to have positive and empathetic conversations, the struggle is even more debilitating.
It’s so important to educate each other on issues like this, sharing with our friends and family that getting help is the first step to feeling better. And, most importantly, remembering to do this for yourself.
I have truly learned through my personal experience and from those around me, that the most important factor in healing from depression is having a good social support system. We, as social creatures, need that to thrive and to succeed. Even if it’s scary, reach out. Whether that be reaching out to friends, family, role models, or teachers, there are amazing people out there who are ready and willing to help support you through your worst days. This month, be the social support for the people around you, and be the same advocate for yourself.
If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety or any kinds of negative feelings, please reach out to a trusted adult or mental health care professional.
Depression is treatable and everyone deserves access to this healthcare. Here are some resources from the National Institute for Mental Health:
Get Immediate Help in a Crisis
Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room.
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En español 1-888-628-9454
Use Lifeline Chat on the web
The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis service that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects people to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
Text “HELLO” to 741741
The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255
Use Veterans Crisis Chat on the web
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans, even if they are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare.
Call or text 1-800-985-5990
The disaster distress helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
*Meet the Author*
Zz has been with Leadership Inspirations for about 2 years. She is currently studying Psychology, Public Affairs, and Education Studies at UCLA.
Favorite Quote: “And your very flesh shall be with great poem.” – Walt Whitman
Fun Facts: 1) I love art and painting 2) I love cheese but am lactose intolerant 3) My favorite food is tacos!