Why are more people speaking up about mental health lately? Recently, I have been hearing people in my community ask (somewhat almost in frustration)- “why is everyone talking about mental health and being traumatized today?”
To be honest, some are genuinely wondering why people tend to ‘lack resilience’ these days. Others are worried that some are hiding under the guise of ‘mental health’ and ‘mental illness’ to excuse themselves from hard work.
I happen to be someone who had suffered trauma, dealt with suicide, depression and said mental health struggle. On the other hand, I am also someone who prides myself in being resilient, given to hard work and have zero tolerance for laziness. Imagine my conflict.
This got me thinking. How do I help bridge these two schools of thoughts? Those genuinely struggling with mental health issues, and those frustrated by hearing that wherever they turn. Today’s write up attempts to bridge that gap.
But before I begin, let me speak to three categories of people:
- If you are struggling in your mental health, I want to acknowledge you. Just as the person who has cancer, malaria or migraine, is not a weakling, YOU ARE NOT A WEAKLING. Mental health struggles can be real, I know and I have walked the path. And just as I got out (by God and seeking help), you can and will get better too. Do the needful. You can learn more about my story here.
- If you think there is too much ‘noise’ on trauma and mental health, take time to seek to understand. I heard of a pastor who asked his member to define what she meant by ‘trauma’ who had shared she was traumatized. Turns out losing a father is traumatizing. But what if the Pastor just shut her down thinking “argh, all these millennials and Gen-Zs talking abuot trauma and mental health”. Also realize that what may not cause trauma for one could cause trauma for another. Add a little compassion and empathy to the skepticism.
- For those using mental health as a weapon or excuse, please change! What you hold as a crutch for your inactions, laziness and ‘out-sies’ are real issues for other people. And guess what, those who are truly dealing with mental health issues are often actively seeking ways to get better. If that is not what you are doing, then you need to check yourself again.
Phew! That took a while to get off my chest. Ready? Let’s dig in:
7 reasons why more people are speaking up about mental health
1. God Wants to Use the Awareness to Bring Healing to Many
If you remember nothing, please remember this! It is not only the devil that is at work. God is also at work in our world today.
Mental health, after-effect of trauma and identity crisis are the greatest battles this generation is dealing with.
To set free those who are oppressed (downtrodden, bruised, crushed by tragedy) (Luke 4:18 AMP)Luke 4 AMP – The Devil Tempts Jesus – Now Jesus, – Bible Gateway
Recall the trauma definition mentioned earlier? God aims to rescue many from it.
However, instead of offering love and prayers for their deliverance, we inadvertently hand them over to the enemy when we resort to condemning or judging those who require help.
2. Change in the times & culture
In recent years, there has been a significant shift in societal attitudes towards mental health.
What was once a topic shrouded in stigma and secrecy is now being openly discussed, and more people are speaking up about their mental health struggles.
This cultural transformation has been propelled by various factors, including increased awareness, changing perceptions, and a growing acceptance of the importance of mental well-being.
3. Breaking the Stigma
One of the primary reasons more people are speaking up about mental health is the ongoing effort to break the stigma surrounding it.
For far too long, individuals with mental health issues were often marginalized and made to feel ashamed of their conditions.
Thankfully, we are now witnessing a cultural shift where society recognizes that mental health is as important as physical health.
According to a survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 60% of respondents believe that stigma and discrimination have reduced over the past few years, which is a promising sign of progress.
4. Celebrities and Public Figures Opening Up
The influence of celebrities and public figures in shaping public opinion cannot be underestimated. Many high-profile individuals have been candid about their mental health struggles, helping to normalize these discussions.
This includes Pastors and other Spiritual leaders. Thus, sending a powerful message that mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of their status or success.
Such disclosures not only encourage empathy but also inspire others to share their stories. Even more, it gives hope that others can be healed. Mental illnesses like any physical illnesses, can be healed.
5. The Power of Social Media
Social media platforms have become a vital tool for raising awareness about mental health. People now have a platform to share their experiences and connect with others who may be going through similar challenges.
According to Statista, as of 2021, there were approximately 3.78 billion social media users worldwide.
This widespread reach allows mental health advocates to reach a massive audience, reducing feelings of isolation and creating a sense of community.
6. Growing Accessibility to Mental Health Resources
Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable increase in the availability of mental health resources. Also, counseling, therapy, and crisis hotlines are more accessible than ever before.
The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, accelerated the adoption of telehealth services, making it easier for individuals to seek professional help without leaving their homes.
This has undoubtedly contributed to more people being comfortable discussing their mental health concerns.
7. Youth Engagement
The younger generation is playing a pivotal role in destigmatizing mental health. Also, today’s youth are more informed and engaged in discussions surrounding mental health than ever before.
They are demanding change, pushing for greater access to mental health services in schools, and advocating for more open conversations within their communities.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the percentage of adolescents receiving treatment for depression increased from 40% in 2010 to 65% in 2020.
The increasing number of people speaking up about mental health is a sign of progress. You may need to change the lens you use to view it.
It signifies a shift towards a more empathetic and understanding world where we consider mental well-being as important as physical health.
Moreover, it offers us an opportunity to demonstrate God’s power and love to a world that desperately needs it.
Furthermore, as people actively share their experiences, particularly their stories of healing, and advocate for change, we steadily approach a future where we treat mental health with the seriousness and compassion it deserves.
What do you think? Do you believe there is too much ‘noise’ about mental health or you believe it is a good thing the conversations are on-going? Leave us comments here or on our social media page.
If you haven’t already, be sure to grab a copy of Reve-Healed. It’s definitely worth checking out!
Undo the culture of silences with us, so many can be aware and learn. Share your stories with us below.