Mental health isn’t addressed enough


Tabby Fitzgerald and Reporter

When thinking of mental health, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it anxiety, depression or even bipolar disorder? Mental health has to do with someone’s psychological and emotional well-being. Around the world there are more than 300 million people who suffer from depression and at least 264 million people who are living with some form of an anxiety disorder according to Global Health Estimates. Although there are things in place to raise awareness about Mental Health, what are we actually doing about it? The short answer is not enough. It is important to raise awareness about things such as mental health, but you also need to take action to make a change.

Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas this past February. Lynda Cruz had called the Sheriff in the beginning of 2013 to let him know that her son had ADHD, OCD and anger problems. In 2014 Cruz was transferred to a school that offers psychiatric services but was then transferred to Stoneman in 2016. In late 2016, there was a case opened by the State Welfare Agency who stated that he was a “vulnerable adult due to mental illness.” In 2017, Cruz was reported for assault at Stoneman and later bought guns and had people calling the police saying that he might kill himself or become a school shooter.

I mention this because it is just one case of many where there is more than likely something that could’ve been done to prevent the school shooting from ever happening. Cruz had a mental illness but nothing was really done about it. Maybe if someone had taken Cruz’s mental health a little more seriously or if there were measures in place such as a more thorough background check, Cruz would have never bought the gun and those 17 people would still be alive.

If cases like Cruz have slipped through the cracks resulting in a tragedy, then what’s stopping it from happening again? Mental health needs to be taken as seriously as physical health. When was the last time that you had a mental health check up? Sure, your regular doctor might ask you a couple questions about it, but if it’s anything too serious they might send you to a therapist, but even at that point you don’t have to go. If you do go to a therapist, they will ask you some questions and talk about it with you, but they might not diagnose you with anything such as anxiety.

You could also be in denial about having mental health problems. You could easily lie your way around the doctors questions or just refuse to accept that there is something wrong with your brain. To combat this, there should be a mental health check up that everyone is supposed to attend to make sure that everything is okay upstairs. America first, right?

Speaking of, if we really are suppose to be putting America first, then why aren’t there more solutions for mental health? Mental health is more common than you think and there’s nothing being done about it. Sure, there are things, such as the show 13 Reasons Why, that do an amazing job at raising awareness about Mental Health and show the consequences of suicide and give you plenty of resources to get help, but it’s not enough.

I once volunteered to help serve food at a food kitchen and the head chef, who used to be homeless, brought up a very good point – “a lot of people don’t want to get help, sometimes because of pride and other times just because they may not see anything wrong.” We need to be more serious about mental health so that even when someone may not see anything wrong with them, that they can still get the help they deserve.