There are so many people who deeply struggle with mental illness. Ironically, they don’t even know it. They just assume that they need to work harder, become more disciplined or get more rest. In actuality, there’s a chemical imbalance that makes it ten times harder to think clearly. This happens in children as well. Because of this, it’s important to discuss the issues amongst one another for four reasons.
Normalizing Mental Illness is Critical
So often, the stigma surrounding mental illness isn’t warranted because many people struggle. When more people realize how common the struggle is, they’ll be more likely to talk amongst one another. If no one talks about the issues, everyone assumes it’s an individual flaw.
It’s Important to Create a Comfortable Environment
Mental illness is a very sensitive issue. Whether ADHD, depression, or bipolar disorder, many people don’t want to talk about it because they get categorized as weird, dangerous or strange. This is why you should start the conversation with children when they’re young. Be mindful of the language you tolerate in your presence. Name-calling and making others feel ashamed of who they are cannot be tolerated.
It Helps Foster Community
People need one another. It’s so important to foster community. When people try to isolate themselves and figure out life on their own, this is where disasters come into play. This is also where mental illnesses like depression can take a person’s life. If a young person is within a loving, supportive community, they are less likely to develop terrible habits that exacerbate their mental condition.
It Prevents a Silent Struggle
When people are talking, silence ceases to exist. This is why you want to remain a voice in the community. When you spark the conversation, someone will chime in. If they know you care about mental health, they might try to pull you aside for a private conversation. However, they are reaching out. When it comes to mental illness, education is key. If you’re showing that you’re actively engaged in learning more about mental illness and how others struggle with it, you’ll position yourself as a safe person to talk to whenever another person is silently struggling.
If the conversation isn’t happening within your sphere of influence, be the one to spark the change. It might be difficult to be bold. However, think about the positive impact it can have on one child’s life. When you have that understanding, it makes it a lot easier to speak up.