Mental Health Corner: Focusing on mental health now more than ever

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Montana Moon , Contributing Writer

Mental health is one of the most important aspects of life that can often be overlooked, and without taking time to care for your mental wellbeing, everyday activities and responsibilities can come incredibly challenging.  Happiness and prosperity depend on a good mindset and mental health state.  

In the last two years, the world was hit with many unexpected curveballs.  The COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most blaring and long-lasting outbreaks of disease to date, affected not only the way we live our lives but also the way we feel.  Quarantine created widespread unrest, hindering the mental state of many.  

“COVID and quarantine were really scary, and it’s no wonder why so many people struggled with their mental health during its peak.  It is very important to be in touch with your emotions, because otherwise it can be hard to do things like get through classes.  This is why we should all take part in self care activities, as well as check in on our friends and family,” said senior Tessa Klugman.  

During and after quarantine, the effects on mental health were seen worldwide.  Diagnoses in depression, anxiety and panic disorder, eating disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder were all at an all time high.  Not only did COVID-19 severely harm the mental health of millions, it also created hysteria and discomfort about coming forward and seeking help.  However, as we move forward and grow as a society, mental health is being discussed more often.  Awareness surrounding mental health has grown at an astonishing rate due to the aftermath of quarantine in efforts to support and help one another.  

“In the past year, I have learned so much more about mental health and how important it is.  There is now so much access to tips and tricks on how to feel better when you’re having an off day.  Also, there are many resources on and offline that can aid mental health issues that are becoming more well-known.  I think that this is such a great thing because it can help so many people who are struggling,” said junior Tarah Parmar.  

Mental health and it’s growing awareness has resulted in many more accessible resources.  For starters, hotlines have become much more widespread, as well as individualized.  There are hotlines for depression as well as anxiety crises, and even general mental health hotlines that can be contacted at all hours of the day.  These hotlines have become much more well known, and are more commonly used now.  NY Project Hope (1-844-863-9314) is a hotline that has been established for New Yorkers following the events of COVID-19.  This hotline is for all crises and mental health challenges.  

Each of these hotlines are crucial to keeping mentally healthy.  Talking to someone, especially anonymously, can be incredibly beneficial to someone who is struggling. 

“I think that one of the best things you can do for yourself and your mental health state is to talk about your emotions.  Sometimes just letting off steam to a friend, family member or mental health professional is necessary,” said junior Carly Fanous.  

As well as resources being made more available, many more activities and check-ins have been created to help regulate mental health.  Meditation apps and podcasts have been in use to help calm and monitor emotions.  Radio Headspace and The Mindfulness Meditation Podcast With Danny Ford are just a few of thousands of different resources that can benefit one’s mental health online.  

“I think that focusing on your breath in meditation can really help center yourself if you are having a stressful day, and there are many great apps that can help you do that,” said senior Jocelyn Castillo.  

As we begin to return to the world, it is vital that we examine our mental health on a daily basis.  Having regular check-ins with close friends and family can greatly help, along with seeking additional support if desired.  Although many have struggled with coming out of quarantine, it is important to remember that emotions are valid, you are not alone, and help is always available.