By: Vivian Contreras
Mental health has been a topic pushed aside by generations. Teens for centuries have been forced to hide their struggles and keep everything bottled up because society has treated the discussion of mental health as something so disgusting and horrific that no one should talk about it openly. As a result, teens have had to endure their pain alone and feel the need to struggle behind closed doors.
Many don’t know who to turn to in fear of being judged and told that their mental illness does not exist. They are forced to keep it all in and pretend that nothing is wrong and hide it behind a fake smile as they tell everyone “I’m fine” while secretly hiding their pain. This causes many issues to occur, such as depression, the anxiety of all types, lower self-esteem, loss of self-worth, and could lead to self-harm and suicide.
Coping mechanisms could be one of the best skills for helping teens who are struggling with mental health issues. There is a variety of coping skills that teens can learn, such as journaling which is one of the best ways to “help [teens] gain control of [their] emotions and improve [their] mental health.” said the article Journaling for Mental Health from the University of Rochester Medical Center. Some of the ways that journaling could help include helping with managing anxiety, lessening stress, and helping manage depression. Also, journaling is a way for teens to be able to help improve themselves by writing to find ways to better their moods and control their symptoms. Journaling is just one way for teens to help with coping and there are plenty of other ways for them to manage their mental health. Which include talking to a therapist, psychiatrist, and other peers about their problems.
Normalizing mental health discussions could be the most beneficial thing that could be done by this generation. Making mental health a regular thing to talk about with teens could make them more impressionable to the idea of opening up to people when they are struggling with a problem that they can not handle on their own. Also, this normalization, could benefit generations of teens in the future and increase the chances of them approaching someone for help. And is a way to decrease the suicide rates, because teens will be able to see that their problems have meaning too and that someone is willing to listen to what they are struggling with.
Make mental health a topic that teens feel comfortable talking about before another generation has to struggle alone and feel that their problems are too much of a burden to talk about. Teens deserve to have a life where they don’t feel alone and worthless because they don’t know how to handle their mental health issues or that they don’t know how to open up about them. Give teens a chance to better their mentality and future generations to be able to discuss mental health openly.