I want to talk about mental health in college, particularly here at Washington University. The school has a poor infrastructure regarding handling mental health from the understaffed Student Health Services to the constant barrage of mind shredding exams and homework, as well as the lack of any semblance of a work-life balance.
Here at Washington University, students often hear about issues of sexual assault, cultural appropriation, race, gender and sexuality, all of which are extremely relevant and important. However, an issue that receives less attention, but plays into all of these concerns, is that of mental health. This year, Active Minds is looking to change that.
You could tell Melanie Martinez was touring to support her first album as she paced back and forth on the Off Broadway stage this past Saturday. For starters, she was trotting along in front of huge, illuminated alphabet blocks that spelled out the name of the album, “Cry Baby,” but what is perhaps more revealing was the young artist’s seeming unease.
Ranging from Laughter Yoga to free massages in Olin Library, events relating to mental health and illness are a part of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
Of the recent debates about reducing gun violence in the wake the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., no measure has received more universal support than stricter controls for the purchase of weapons by the mentally ill, particularly through the creation of a national mental health registry. It’s pretty hard to argue against.
I’m glad to see the nation taking action on the issue of LGBT issues and bullying in general. I find it odd, however, that there has been little awareness of another similarity between these men, one that caused their deaths as surely as bullying did: they all had hidden battles with depression, a secret that eventually led to their suicides.
Perhaps you have seen the new series, “This Emotional Life,” which first aired on PBS in January. On the show, mental illnesses are described as diseases with physical bases. Read: no different than physical illnesses—except that mental illnesses impair psychological functioning.