Mental Health Check In Time

Angela Ybarra, Writer

We made it a whole six days into the new year before the proverbial you know what hit the fan. The reality is that we can try and make light of these situations, a pandemic, an insurrection, holidays and not to mention having to deal with insomnia, panic attacks, and the overall feeling of the walls closing in.  If ever there was a time for a mental health check, it is now.  Let’s face it, it has been a long, rough couple of months.  The whole “light at the end of the tunnel”, “glass half full” and “it could be worse” are colloquialisms that we care not to hear anymore.  Metal health, however, has had a light shined on it more than ever before due to all this.  Ironically, this is one of those “light at the end of the tunnel” things.  A person’s mental health is affected when they don’t have control of situations. Their way of thinking and feelings are adversely affected which can aggravate a person’s bipolar, or schizophrenic conditions, and even how they relate to others.

The first step to ensuring our mental health is cared for is the acknowledgment that it is something that everyone has to do. Most people want to fight through it, control it or simply ignore it but mental health can be seen as a teapot ready to boil over if it is just left on the fire.  The second step would be finding ways to access your needs. Is it simply the need to adjust your sleep cycle, eating habits, or the amount of exercise you get?  Or does that mean you might need to meditate or even talk to someone?  

Not dealing with a mental health issue can lead to a mental health crisis. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) has gone so far as to add the topic of Covid-19 and what a pandemic could do to a person’s mental health. Use the website to research mental health and see what the CDC recognizes as mental illness and what are their recommendations for dealing with your mental health. It will surprise you to know 1 out of 5 people are diagnosed with some type of mental health issue.  

The issues that have an effect on our mental health and well-being comes in all forms.  The issues of domestic violence, child abuse, veteran’s issues, elder abuse, substance abuse, and the list could go on, have a lasting effect on a person’s mental health.  Mental well-being can even be seen as the main cause for our stress levels, depression, physical health all taking a downturn and causing major issues or even leading to suicide. 

As you can see there are many factors that can affect one’s mental health and well-being. It is important to use all the resources out there to assist you in ensuring you are getting the help you need. NEIU has always looked out for the wellbeing of its students, faculty, and staff, mental health is not overlooked by our campus family.  If you are unable to deal with the political issues, the lasting effects of Covid-19, your classes or just life in general remember that help is available to us through resources at the school. No one knows your body better than you do and if you are limited by resources remember that there are always Student Health Services.  Student Health Services will be glad to assist you or point you in the right direction.   Another resource that NEIU provides is the Student Counseling Services. Remember you do not have to go through things alone. Anxiety, grief, stress, depression, and an array of other things can cause you to need someone to talk to.  That someone should be someone outside of your bubble, someone who is not biased or can look at things from a different perspective.  As I said, NEIU takes pride in being here for all students, faculty, and staff so please check out the Managing Anxiety About CoronaVirus page on the university website.

The one thing to remember is that we are collectively going through this.  The pandemic happened to all of us, we all live in the United States right now and we are having to deal with political issues that affect our daily lives. Reaching out for help, asking for assistance, or just talking through things is not a sign of weakness but a turning point in your personal growth and could assist in your own well-being.