Mental Health

Mental Health

As college students, it is so easy to just brush off the countless feelings of anxiety or sadness during the year, and we forget about the help available. I believe that U of M has one of the largest amount of resources available for those who are clinically struggling, and those who are just going over a rough patch. I do, feel, however, that there is more that could be done. Firstly, from my experience, many students are afraid of admitting they are feeling depressed due to the large amounts of red tape and legal work they will have to fill out, I know this is a public policy, but it is something that should be looked into. Also, students who are feeling stressed simply fear that they “don’t have the time” to attend a CAPS session or further appointments, and this should be made aware to those promoting mental health policy. I believe that even though our school does a great job at promoting healthy mental lifestyles, they are also creating an unneeded schism between “those who are mentally healthy,” and “those who aren’t,” simply referring to everyone on a spectrum like we were taught is a much better way to prevent a divide that is unnecessary. Lastly, I have been exposed to a lot of “busy” work in school this year, that was obviously done to fill time slots rather than promote critical thinking, which causes unneeded stress due to business. I feel that many educators should truthfully look at the material they are presenting to make sure what is being taught is important to teach. My question for fellow readers: do you feel that mental health will remain stigmatized? If so, why?

11 thoughts on “Mental Health

  1. I think that mental health will continue to be stigmatized for a very long time. In a society where racism still exists, I don’t see the stigma surrounding mental illness going away anytime soon. People will always be judge things which are different or they do not understand.

    In terms of the assistance available for students on campus, I think more should be done to make determining how much help is needed and directing students to that help a more streamlined process. Students who may feel uncomfortable walking in to schedule appointments should be able to set up meeting times online; a feature which isn’t offered currently through CAPS. There should also be more focus on stress prevention and stress management in lieu of all the alcohol programs we had to watch in the beginning of the year.

  2. I think that just like with anything that is out of “normal standards,” mental health will always be stigmatized. I think some people see it as weakness, as if you should be able to just suck it up and move on.
    Moreover, something I have noticed on this campus is just how competitive people get when they talk about their stress. In many conversations, when someone mentions that they are stressed because of an upcoming exam, a competition almost always ensues. The other person will respond with something like “Yeah I have two exams and a paper” almost like they are trying to outdo one another.
    I think the climate around stress needs to become less of a competition here at Michigan.

  3. Sadly, I think the stigma around mental health will remain for a long time. As long as there are people who cannot relate to it and do not understand it, the negative connotation regarding mental health will continue. Even though the issue of mental health is getting more popular in forms of media today, especially in current TV programs, many members of older generations still have the idea that people struggling with mental health problems need to “just get over it”.
    The stigma regarding mental health can be diminished by educating people of all age groups about the issue. Recently, younger people have a better idea about mental health than their parents do. I think it would be greatly effective if greater measures were taken to educate parents of current youth about the mental health of their children, so that they can see warning signs of issues that may arise in the future.

  4. As my freshman year at Umich comes to an end, I feel that mental health stigmas are making great progress. I think it is all relative, though. I am from a small, rural town where people did not talk about or learn about mental health. In contrast, mental health seems like the hottest topic on campus. I think we are most definitely progressing toward a much less stigmatized way of thinking in regards to mental health, mainly thanks to education and awareness.

  5. The stigma around mental health will be difficult to end. Like Mitchell said, it it hard to erase a stigma against things that cause barriers of difference between people. However, I think that we can make steps towards improving the stigma by increasing education about mental illness. If more people understand what mental illness is, how it affects people who have an illness, and how it affects our community, society’s perception will be improved. Though the university does an incredible job promoting CAPS and the resources it has to offer to those struggling, I think it can improve by educating students more about the types of illnesses that are prevalent among college students, signs of the illness, and the specific treatment to seek if you feel that you are affected by that illness. Since many people do not have a good idea of the wide range of mental illnesses that exist, they are less likely to understand the seriousness and signs of the illness. This makes students less likely to seek help early. This is unfortunate because this will lead to their illness developing into a much more serious and harmful case.

  6. I agree with you. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re doing and what you have left to do. College is just a constant marathon. There is always something to do and, like you said, we often forget that there is help out there for us. Especially at the University of Michigan, they try to make it known that there are these resources available to us. They’re trying to stop us and slow us down to the point where we can realize how we are really feeling. It’s just important to remember that we all need to just slow down and take a step back to look at how we are feeling.

  7. Because of the diverse range of thought we have across the world and the many crashing viewpoints, stigmas will always be hard to eliminate completely. In my perspective, those who suffer from a mental illness are the only ones that can completely entail what it truly means. It is hard to judge people as mentally healthy or not if we haven’t experienced both sides. Currently, I think there are many people who are working to decrease the wrong stigmas surrounding mental health, but there are still a vast majority of people that have yet to learn about the topic in its whole truth. Mental health is important and instead of trying to stigmatize or divide the “healthy” from the “unhealthy” we must work to promote a society that helps everyone live with clarity and happiness.

  8. I think the stigma around mental health will remain, for the time being, however, I do believe that it has improved greatly. In my experience, many young adults have expressed that either they know someone who has suffered from mental health issues or they have themselves. With so many people talking about mental health and how prevalent it is in their life, I do think that the stigma around it will not be as prevalent or strong. That being said, there is not a lot of education about mental health diseases and disorders and this lack of education will allow the stigma to remain.
    I think another problem with mental health is that so many people talk about how prevalent it is and how one should never be afraid to reach out for help. However, while all these people are telling my peers and me that a majority of us will experience some kind of mental health issue, none of them seem to tell us a way to prevent these issues from arising. I really liked that in discussion we talked about ways to prevent these mental illnesses from arising in the first place.

  9. I agree with a lot of the above comments in that the stigma surrounding mental health is hard to get rid of. Mental issues are not tangible or objectively measurable. A broken bone can be seen with an x-ray; it is undeniable, unlike depression or anxiety. For anyone who has not experienced mental disorders or have educated themselves on the matter, it may seem like people are just willing themselves to be sad or anxious. Like it’s actually as easy as just deciding you don’t want to have depression anymore. I used to be one of those ignorant people for a long time, until I began really talking to people with mental illnesses and researching what it means to have one. Unfortunately, many people do not attempt to gain such knowledge about this issue because it is easier to just be ignorant.

  10. I agree with a lot of what you mentioned. I also agree many teachers provide pointless assignments to take up time that results in a weekly pile of work that only seems to restart immediately once I have caught up. I myself have been sucked into one of these non-stop school marathons and it is easy to see why many students push their mental health to the wayside in order to succeed in school. However, I do believe we can make steps towards reducing the stigma against mental health. I believe an important first step is to make it ok to ask for help. As we heard in lecture, many kids feel as though stress is normal for college and they don’t need help if they’re supposed to be constantly stressed. However, if we can foster a community where people are not afraid to prioritize their mental health, I believe the stigma against these issues will naturally lessen over time.

  11. I agree with a lot of your points about the stigma surrounding mental health. I think that although the stigma is getting much better recently through awareness programs and discussion, we still have a long way to go until the stigma is completely erased. It is difficult for people to understand things that they cannot physically see or feel, and unfortunately, mental illness is exactly that. I think one way to encourage more students to get the help they need is to make students more aware of the idea that mental health is a spectrum. This could help prevent the feeling that their illness isn’t serious enough to get help, or that it’s just normal to feel this stress and anxiety. If more people are unafraid to seek help, the stigma against mental illness will gradually fade.

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