OPINION: Mental health week

Patrick Cantin

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It was mental health week last week, for some it’s a moment of reflection and for others it’s a huge wake up call.  I think back to my own inner toxicity and looked back on this past week with ease and comfort. However, I grew up and out of it with a little bit of annoyance.  I questioned the fact as to why I felt alone and never checked up on. Maybe we do it to ourselves? Perhaps it’s the friends we make? One thing is clear, we avoid talking about mental health like a kid avoids vegetables.  

We need to stop overusing the word “comfortable” and start talking about things that make us uncomfortable.  My generation avoids mental health talks because it makes our stomachs turn. It’s odd that a viral post about the death of Lil Peep can get millions of hits, but your good friend crying out for help gets no response.  Let’s face it, there’s really never a good time to talk about our mental health. We’re either too sad, too scared, or too embarrassed. I was there, after being bullied into believing that my depressive episodes were part of my attention-seeking behavior.  We’re always in fear of being judged for the negativity in our heads, the rest of the world doesn’t want to admit they have a lovely shade of darkness in them as well. We’re not perfect, but we need to become more vocal about our issues in order to grow from them. There’s absolutely nothing humiliating and prideful about vulnerability.  

 If you’ve made it this far and your minds racing, my best advice for you is to tell your friends you love them.  Tell your family how much they mean to you, smile to those people on the sidewalk, just spread positivity whenever you can.  Be a safe haven for the people in your life, it’s okay to encourage vulnerability. The only way we can fight toxicity is to have open and honest conversations about how we function as humans.  Don’t use those moments when every one of your idols passes, or to poke fun at others for their struggles. Instead, engage in ideas and solutions with your peers. You may even be surprised and learn a lot about yourself.  I hope you all can promise me to contribute to this giant puzzle and start taking care of each other more, I hope you all keep pushing through the storms because tomorrow is so close. Never stop talking about what makes you uncomfortable.  

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