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Mental Health is Not Taboo

Cara Davis, C'22

Christmas Dance 2018

Mental Health regards one's physiological and emotional well-being. It affects all stages of life in how we act, think and feel. According to the CDC, 11.2% of adults (18 and over) have regular feelings of worry, nervousness, or anxiety, and 4.7% also have regular feelings of depression.

We have been taught that anxiety, stress, loneliness, trauma, and depression are a normal part of being human. In some cases, these feelings come with the territory of living, but at what cost? What are we doing as a society to actually help younger generations deal with day-to-day stressors, life changes, and pressures of being human?

As a college student, I often feel like I'm not only taking on my future, but also the world. It feels as though all of the world's problems have come to their head in the last decade and the solution is left to Millennials and Generation Z. While being forced home for months, worrying about a virus, online schooling, and global unrest, no wonder we have anxiety.Halloween Bingo 2019

Halloween Bingo, 2019

The stigma connected to mental health often causes us to not talk about its involvement in our everyday life. Students, especially those in college, suffer from anxiety and depression. This is a fact that we cannot ignore any longer. There needs to be more than conversations. We have seen how fast life can be altered and force people into new environments. Changes like the ones from COVID-19 dramatically affect one's mental health. Anxiety, loneliness, and depression can feel hard to avoid during a pandemic, especially on campus. There aren't normal activities like Tiki, Christmas Dance, Bingo, Freshman Frenzy, and most importantly Spring Break. These events are part of the Mount experience as a student. Events like Tiki and Freshman Frenzy are where many students met their lifelong friends. Not having these big social events encourages isolation and loneliness.

This past year, conversations were centered around the struggle of adjusting to quarantine. What about the transition back to normalcy? With Mount students returning to on-campus and hybrid classes, the shift back can be paralyzing. Group environments can cause social anxiety in people that did not deal with it before, and social butterflies can become more isolated. Our lives have dealt with so much change and tragedy that we have become more cautious and aware of how we feel. Many people around us can be battling their mental health and not talk about it while others don’t recognize their own signs of anxiety, trauma, or depression.

This past year has caused trauma in all of us even if we don't recognize it. To prioritize your mental health, you have to recognize the signs. Don't feel ashamed about having these feelings. There are people to talk to and things that you can do to make every day a little easier. This applies to not only first-year students but even those about to graduate. Mental health weighs heavily in our lives. To make the world better, we have to be a little selfish and focus on ourselves first.

I will catch you next week Mounties! If you have feelings mentioned in this article and want to talk to someone, reach out to the Counseling Services. Also, check out Counseling Servies support groups. Take a moment for yourself today.

Cara Davis, C'22