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Mental Health Awareness WeekI wanted to make another post today because today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week here in the U.S. Not many people pay attention to things like this, and I want to change that: I want to draw attention to it. When it comes to mental health and mental illness, most people don’t give it a second thought. They discard it, like it’s not real or important. When they do pay attention to it, they look down on it. Mental health issues carry stuch a stigma, and that needs to change.

The way I see it, mental health is just as important as physical health, if not more. It’s just as real. Depression and schizophrenia, among countless others, are just as real as diabetes or cancer. Some mental or emotional disorders can even be fatal if they go untreated. People just don’t understand. Some may not really be able to, but I think the majority just don’t want to. And that’s the problem. Those with mental health issues so often get bullied, teased, picked on, abused, taken advantage of, etc., because people don’t even attempt to understand. They look down on those with mental health issues, and treat them as if they’re inferior, because people fear and are intimidated by what they don’t understand.

So this week, try to be and stay aware of those with mental health issues. Try to understand. Be supportive. Reach out to them if you can. Mental and emotional disorders are hard enough to deal with, and not having anyone to talk to or being treated unfairly because of them doesn’t help – it makes it worse. Be aware. Learn about it. If you know someone who’s struggling, offer a helping hand, figuratively speaking. We need to break this stigma that mental health issues have. And the first step is being aware.