Prioritizing mental health

COMMENTARY BY
SARAH TIANO

The majority of students here at The University hold the privilege of being able to seek health care when necessary. When flu season arrives, students take necessary precautions against contracting the virus. Society trains us to take care of our bodies and seek professional help when we are not feeling well. Imagine a world where students sought similar prevention, risk reduction, and guidance during stressful weeks to take care of an equally important part of one’s well-being: mental health.
Often stigmatized and misunderstood, mental health is pushed aside as a pathologized issue that only applies to people hearing voices or experiencing depression. Nevertheless, a mental health revolution is underway, and it is essential that future professionals in any field take note. The value of mental health becomes increasingly important in such a fast-paced, high-stress world.
The efficacy of counseling is both empirically substantiated and widely supported. Individuals who seek mental health care experience a wide range of issues from stress management guidance to interpersonal issues and adjustment issues all the way to serious mental health concerns. By appreciating the normalcy of counseling and the importance of good mental health, one can engage in the therapeutic alliance that is counseling, offering a chance for holistic well-being. Promoting good mental health to students on college campuses initiates a trend of self-care that is extremely beneficial to all individuals. Because of our culture, many students understand the importance of nutrition and exercise., such as going to the gym or balancing sleep and diet, and students should take advantage of counseling services to maintain psychological wellness. When one learns to respect the mind and take care of it in the same way one does with the physical body, health becomes exponentially better.
Fortunately, mental health care is one of the fastest-growing professions. In particular, the profession of counseling is growing tremendously. The American Counseling Association has been working tirelessly toward unifying professional counselors in an effort to create a vision and promising future for mental health. With its efforts, one can only hope misunderstandings and stigmas about mental health services begin to break down. The Affordable Care Act, which includes coverage for certain mental health treatments and preventative services, is just one clear step toward a better climate for mental health work.
Understanding mental health and its importance in one’s well-being is essential for good health.

Contact the writer:
sarah.tiano@scranton.edu

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