I’m starting to struggle with my depression, but it’s fine. Don’t worry. We’re all going through something.
These words or variations thereof have been spoken by multiple Fellows over the past months. As the weight of 2020 and, still, 2021 bear down on them, they find that their mental health is increasingly challenged. We all do. However, they are also quick to dismiss their struggles, so often pointing to the fact that they are not alone in them.
And it’s true. Even before the pandemic, an ever increasing number of children, young adults and adults reported mental health issues. The events of 2020 simply amplified them. Yet, it’s irresponsible to allow the prevalence and, in many ways, the normalizing of mental health to minimize the experience of an individual. Depression, anxiety or any other form/symptom of mental illness should be properly addressed, properly acknowledged - regardless of whether or not your neighbor and your neighbor’s neighbor are also struggling.
May is Mental Health Awareness month. Let’s spend this time not only normalizing the fact that millions struggle with mental health but also normalizing the idea that everyone deserves help when needed.