Mental Health: Why Isn’t It Taken Seriously at MHS?

I have noticed many people at Malden High do not take mental illnesses seriously. I have heard jokes about PTSD, OCD, anxiety, ADHD, ADD, bipolar disorder, and many others.

“That only perpetuates the stigma, fear, and denial for people who are struggling with it, because then they feel judged,” Kristy Hardy, the Holland House counselor, stated.

“Like I was saying, if you break your arm or have cancer or some disease, people give compassion and sympathy, whereas there seems to be a judgment that comes with mental health, maybe because we can’t see it as much,” Hardy added.

It might not seem like it, but jokes about mental health can make people with these issues feel small. Being inconsiderate can cause microaggressions or unintentional discrimination. This is the last thing we need because nobody is aware that they could potentially be hurting people.

“I think as a community we should be more mindful and try to take a timeout and remind people that this isn’t something we want to joke about,” Benjamin Butler, the Boyle House adjustment counselor, said.

As an individual with c-PTSD, it is very uncomfortable to hear jokes being made about my diagnosis. I can probably say the same for anybody else who overhears remarks about their diagnoses.

The only thing we can really do is remind people to take mental health issues seriously. We can’t change people’s actions, but we can alter the future.

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