Chasing Mental Health


Friends Skyler Whitehead, Gracen DeBruyn, and Elliot Villareal are able to lean on each other for mental support which helps them cope with the stresses of high school. Whitehead believes that “mental health is a serious issue that needs to be acknowledged.”

Jennifer Arena, Staff Writer

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S. age 18 and older, or 18% of the population and are the most common mental illness in the United States.


Major Depressive Disorder affects more than 15 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3, says the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

These are just two of the many mental illnesses that one can be diagnosed with, and no person would ever want to have these. Yet, for some reason many people still believe that these are not real and legitimate illnesses which only makes the problems worse.


Mental illness is a roadblock to good mental health, but the right mindset can counteract the effects of mental illness on mental health. You can never recover completely from most mental illnesses, but that doesn’t mean their effects cannot be significantly lessened.


So what can be done? How can those with mental illnesses get help?


  • Seek out therapy or counseling: If you cannot afford a therapist, make an appointment with a school counselor. Many believe that this will not help, but even just taking the step to make the appointment will put you on track to become mentally healthy.
  • Get medication: This is not for everyone, you must decide on your own or with your family if medication is what is best for you, but medication will help with chemical imbalances in the brain.
  • Accept yourself: This is obvious but crucial and often overlooked. Accepting yourself takes time, but it is the most important part of mental health.
  • Help others: Helping others will help you. Everyone knows this, but, like accepting yourself, no matter how many times people tell you to, you still do not do it.

With mental illnesses on the rise, we must do something to help ourselves and others stay mentally healthy.