Where are the Mental Health Classes
3 Reasons we don’t talk about Mental Health and how we can fix this.
As children we are taught that going outside to play is important to our health, and this is only further engrained into our minds throughout high school and college. Yet I’ve personally earned both a Bachelors and Masters degree, and never once has a Professor or Teacher discussed mental health. From Chemistry to Ethics professors, the idea of physical well-being was not lost on me whether it be at Berkeley or Harvard, but mental health was sadly never discussed. Why? Why does something that, according to studies, plagues Millennials and Generation Y never taught to us. Here are my three reason why I think it is never taught to kids, and what we can do about it.
- We can’t see it. When a kid gets a booboo we tell them this is something that happened because they hurt themselves, and the way we teach them to be careful is to discuss physical issues. Over time the things we can see take over the conversation, stay healthy so that you don’t become overweight, have pain, or set yourself up for a future filled with pain. Yet, because as children we don’t see the physical result of “mental struggles” we never address it. This leads to a stressed out society, that is anxious, and doesn’t know how to relax. Fix this by teaching your kids (they can be older when this happens) that they could go back to coloring. This is just one quick way to distress our bodies and minds, and deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Also take these moments to tell them that what you’re feeling is a mind booboo.
- Meditation is seen as “crazy.” So this one is starting to become less and less true, but a lot of people still look at those who meditate as whack jobs or weirdos. I think this is due to the fact that we don’t do enough to show that meditation is a workout for our brain, just as going to the gym helps us get muscles. I say don’t let young people or kids laugh at those who meditate and don’t do it yourself either. Instead try doing it every few days and get your kids to come along. Tell them this is what they have to do, just as they have to go to gym to get fit.
- Lastly, I think we associate mental health with people that talk to themselves or are seen as having a contagious disease in society. I think this one needs to be hit through education. Just as schools have gym and PE we should also push for schools to have awareness of mental health days. I know some do, but far to many do not, and without showing kids that mental health is as dangerous as a physical broken arm we are never going to get them to care. So if the school doesn’t do it you do it, and just as you talk about the birds and bees tell your kids about mental health. Describe the consequences of neglecting it and point them in the direction of articles like those offered at Thrive Global and other places.
Studies have recently shown that stress and anxiety in society and college is at all time highs. I believe this sits in the fact that for generations we have put all the focus on physical health and now it is time to stop and yeah our kids and society that mental health is just as important.
I hope I help just a few kids and people deal with this growing issue.
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