The Importance of Mental Health Education
The word “crazy” has become an overused word to describe anyone who may not act like they do or as society perceives they should behave. This is especially true in schools and often leads to bullying. The question remains: how does one classify someone as mentally unstable, or “crazy?” Usually, people are tagged with a mental illness and a stigma is created around them. Mental illness is a controversial topic, often misunderstood, and hard to diagnose or acknowledge in today’s world. Students in today’s society have little knowledge on the various mental illnesses. Schools should educate all students(and teachers) on the struggles endured everyday by people with mental illnesses. This education would serve the community, lead to quicker diagnosis and proper treatment, and increase compassion and understanding to a largely mislabeled population who until recently, only highly trained psychiatrists understood.
The main purpose of this education would be to introduce and explain the various mental illnesses. The education would be present within a psychology course or offered as a separate elective. Mental illness is defined as, a condition that affects a person’s thinking, mood, feeling, or even interrupts their daily activities. It is important that the youth is educated for multiple reasons. During the year of 1979, “A support and advocacy organization, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, is founded to provide support, education, advocacy, and research services for people with serious psychiatric illnesses” (A Brilliant Madness). The effort to inform people on these illnesses has been an ongoing event. When researching this topic, many programs only describe how to provide life changes for the mentally ill person, not the people around them. These programs for education could include changes to schooling and even career choices for mentally ill patients. For example, “However, there are alternate academic opportunities at every stage of education that can enable you to continue to learn when you are well enough to do so” (Mental Health America). The present-day situation, shows how adolescents should be educated in high school or college on mental illness. Mental illness is difficult to diagnose, understand and mentally ill students often get labeled as “weird” or “crazy.” If schools would educate students and teachers on mental illness, then students and teachers would be better able to recognize mental illness as a legitimate health issue. Everyone would benefit from this education, by being more considerate and knowledgeable on mental illness.
Research shows, that it is not easy to live with a mental illness. Educating young adults on any mental illnesses would erase a topic built up over the years. With more people learning about mental illness it could be an enhanced environment in the mental health culture. A major concern, is how humanity connects a stigma with mental illness. Stigmas impact the mental health community more than humans know. “Three out of four people with a mental illness report that they have experienced stigma.” (Government of Western Australia Mental Health Commission). This number is only increasing. These stigmas can lead to or serve as a mark of disgrace, and even build a stereotype. Educating the children of the future during their middle school or high school career can considerably help the United States.
Another key point, is to make the connection between mental illness and physical illness. There is not a very substantial difference, and neither should be given less support. The ability to recognize mental illnesses as a true issue, would show people that it is easier to receive treatment for the reason that it will not have a need to be hidden anymore. With more treatment, mental illness will be considered more common. While increasing education, more people would understand knowledge of treatments for each illness. Treatments for mental illness differ for each. Some common examples of treatment are, prescription drugs, counseling, or therapy. Without treatment, patients could be lost in different ways. Patients could drop out of highschool or college, but on the other hand, they could commit suicide. Proving that, “More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition” (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Is this a statistic the world should be left with? Or would it be better to be have educated students make treatment of mental illness more acceptable?
The opposition may say that the relation of mental illness to an everyday problem may be a rough change. It also may be stated that students do not need to be educated on mental illness, for the reason that, it may not always involve them. Although this may be true, “One in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17−about 13.6 million−live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.” (National Alliance on Mental Illness). From this fact, it exhibits how everyone is touched by mental illness a some point in their lives. The education being pushed would help everyone be more understanding, erase stigmas, and even cause less deaths in our nation.
Not only would this movement benefit adolescents and the mental health community but, anybody who is willing to educate themselves to be more accepting. Morally, the public would be kinder and less stereotypical. Ethically, educating on mental illness is just as important as educating on any physical illness. Not only would the commonality be diverse, but it would value the same education and understanding for mental illness. The goal to learn and achieve understanding of mental illness is a task that would considerably bring humanity together as one.
“Education.” Mental Health America. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2016.
“Timeline: Treatments for Mental Illness.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2016.
Design, Vivid Interactive and. “What Is Stigma?” What Is Stigma? N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2016.
Numbers, By The. “NAMI.” : National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2016.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web.
Senior in high school
Essay on mental health