Normalizing Mental Health Issues

Terrini M. Woods

Terrini M. Woods

Is a lay counselor with over 20 years counseling residents of South Florida. She has a master’s degree in therapy for persons with chronic mental health issues.

A lot of perceptions may come to mind if we think of Millennials but one thing is undeniable: Millennials
are great advocates and their voice have birth various movements, raised awareness about many critical
social issues that we face. And one important issue that they are able to raise awareness of is Mental
Health. An issue that has been a taboo for time in memoriam, mental health issues a stigma that people
are afraid to talk about because of public perception.

Studies show that older generations are not as open to talk about mental health as the younger ones.
The new millennium is the best time to fill the gap, to enlighten our older generations how important it
is to not only take care of themselves physically but as well as mentally and emotionally. Why? Because
they are not excluded from mental illness.

With the corona virus pandemic that is going on, it is impossible not to touch the issue of mental health.
If you look around, conversations about mental health lies everywhere. Pretending like everything is
normal is not okay, because it is not. People are becoming more and more vulnerable and there is no
better way to fix this but to normalize mental health.

Normalizing Mental Health Issues

We should start to accept that mental illness is not a choice or a personal flaw, rather it is similar to
physical illness- it is a medical condition that requires medical care. The struggles may not be easy to talk
about but we can do something about it and not just hide it as if it doesn’t exist.

Purpose of Normalizing Mental Health Issues

Mental illness is a very complicated issue- it is not black and white; the severity of different levels exists
and normalizing it can discourage those who are experiencing severe mental illness from opening up
because of their fear to be judge by others. But normalizing mental health issues can reduce the stigma
associated with mental illness. It allows society to become more supportive and empathetic towards
those who are experiencing mental illness. Overall, people are now taking mental illness more seriously
and a lot of improvements have been made to classify and treat mental disorders.

Will normalizing mental health stories prevent suicide?

People who are struggling with their mental health have suicidal thoughts, more often that not. There is
this loud voice inside their head telling them things like they are not good enough. They are bad, they
are a failure and they are better off dead. Thoughts like these are the main reasons why more and more
people are ending their lives. Matter of fact, suicide is one of the most urgent health problems facing
the world today and they keep on rising by the day. Studies have shown that ever since doctors changed
their approach to this kind of situation and since then on numbers are starting to decline.


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