Break the Stigma: Mental Health Awareness Month


Mariana Razo, Editor-in-Chief

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and that means stepping closer to breaking the stigma against mental health problems.

We are in a time that no one thought would come. A year into the Covid-19 pandemic has made an impact mentally, physically, and economically. Quarantine has forced us to stay in our homes and isolate interactions from other people. To much of society, this was a negative change that has worsened the condition of already existing mental health issues. For these reasons, this is why this month is even more important than ever this year.

According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.” Many people may feel like there’s no resources because there’s no conversation made that allows those suffering to understand that there is help available.

There is a stigma around the validity of mental health and those who suffer from it are discriminated against and looked down upon for these illnesses that they have no control over. Because of that, studies show that more than half of people with mental illnesses don’t seek help for their disorders.

To understand why the stigma exists, researching the history of mental illness will give you a clear answer. During the Middle Ages, those suffering from the disorders were considered to be possessed by the devil, witchcraft, or in need of religion. Mental health hospitals were often underfunded and understaffed which lead to a violation of human rights of the patients. According to Unite for Sight, around the 1840s, activist Dorothea Dix “lobbied for better living conditions for the mentally ill after witnessing the dangerous and unhealthy conditions in which many patients lived.” After Dix’s protests, It took over forty years for U.S. government to finally fund 32 psychiatric hospitals and our mental health system has progressed. However, the negative views formed about mental health still follow till this day.

Take a step to achieve ways to fight mental health stigma by showing compassion to those who suffer from an illness, being aware of your of language, and educating yourself on the subject. Visit for hotlines, crisis text lines, and mental health assistance. Help is always available.