Ending Mental Health Stigmas
by Tori Minkovitz
In 1883, German psychiatrist Emil Kräpelin published a system of psychological disorders addressing the symptoms of mental illness. However, it took many years for further studies of mental illness to be taken seriously. Up until the mid-20th century, people were simply placed into asylums because of the mental health issues that they had. The way history went about helping mental health patients was chaotic and incorrect. Recent studies have now come forward about the severity of mental illness, allowing people to become more knowledgeable about how to help themselves and others.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, one in five teens will struggle with mental illness in their lifetime or have already experienced trauma. To this day, society is afraid to openly discuss mental health because of the stigma behind it. Teens and even adults believe that they will be ridiculed if they ask for help or even talk about what they are going through.
Despite this, the stigma of mental health has lessened over the years. Today teens are able to find help in popular social media apps such as “Tik Tok” from content creators. For example, Creator Sienna Mae publishes TikTok’s about body positivity, trying to help young adults by showing what ‘normal’ bodies look like and even filming herself eating so girls/boys can share a meal with her while not being afraid to eat.
Hospitals also provide many mental health support systems such as Outpatient and Inpatient services. Inpatient programs allow people to stay overnight on a special floor for about two weeks (depends on severity) while having therapy groups, fun activities and also teaching and providing kids about medications.
Outpatient services focus more on coping skills. Since covid-19, many do this virtually. The sessions last about two weeks, and usually are as long as a regular school day. During this time, young adults go to therapy blocks that teach them coping skills they could use in distressing situations while also giving them a safe space to talk about issues they may not be able to discuss in outside situations.
The stigma surrounding mental health should be destroyed because it is a very common thing that affects a lot of people. Having a mental illness isn’t a bad thing. Accepting help and focusing on your body and brain is what makes a person strong. Teens shouldn’t feel like they are a mistake because of how their brain works. You are perfect the way you are.