Mental health and beginning to heal

Recently in our country, mental health has been an ongoing discussion, and is becoming something to open up about and not be embarrassed to discuss. Unfortunately, discussing mental health in the past wasn’t normal, it was viewed as something weird or taboo, and help wasn’t always available to many teens and adults suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders and many other illnesses.

Thankfully, times are beginning to change, which is good for those who are affected by it as mental health awareness increases the chance for early intervention. A person dealing with mental illness that stops them from functioning will need to seek professional help, but as a family member or friend, there are ways to acknowledge them and help them. 

Even with increased awareness and conversations being held, between 30 to 80 percent of people will not be treated for mental illness, according to a report by the World Health Organization. The signs of mental illness can be right in front of you, but can be overlooked. Here are signs of declining mental health:

  • Feeling sad or down
  • Confusion or lack of concentration
  • Excessive fears or worries
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Withdrawals from friends and activities
  • Low energy
  • Major change in eating habits
  • Excessive anger, violence or hostility
  • Suicidal thoughts

Mental health won’t get better on its own, and noticing these signs is very important. Telling a doctor will open up resources to improve your overall health. What can you do if you notice a family member or a friend experiencing these symptoms? 

  • Remember that everyone is different and something may or may not work out for them
  • Let them go at their own pace
  • Be respectful 
  • Offer to help with anything
  • Help them set an appointment with a professional


Christopher High School junior, Bella Brusa, has been dealing with depression since the beginning of the pandemic, and found that therapy helped her greatly. She explains how she didn’t know what to do or how to make herself feel better, and therapy showed what worked for her. 

The pandemic put a stop to social gatherings, and for Bella it was hard not to see her friends everyday like she used to, but also it gave her time to focus on herself. She says, “therapy allowed me to see how important it is to recognize your feelings, and do things that make you feel happy.” 

When staying inside is being promoted everyday, it’s hard not to fall into a negative mindset and space. I asked Bella how she recognizes her symptoms and she replied, “Usually I do recognize them when I start becoming distant with family and friends, I acknowledge that, and I stop whatever I’m doing to watch movies, facetime with a friend, or hang out with my family.” Now that vaccines are accessible, it’s safer to hang out with friends and family who aren’t in your household, and get back to socializing with others in person.

Everyone has different coping mechanisms when feeling depressed, and in order to feel better it’s important to accept it.