A World Where Mental Health Is Not An Excuse Is Inexcusable

A World Where Mental Health Is Not An Excuse Is Inexcusable

Don't make us another statistic — we make up enough as is.
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One in four people, between the ages of 18 and 24, have a diagnosable mental illness.

I am one in four. My best friends are one in four. Almost every single one of my friends lives with a mental illness every single day. We are busy college kids, balancing full course-loads, jobs, Greek life, family, social events, sleep, self-care — the list goes on and on.

Amidst all this chaos in our external lives, we are dealing with mind games of our own creation. We are battling our mental illnesses all the time, and sometimes there is no break.

Some of the harsh stigmas surrounding mental health have been lessened in the past few years, though many more stigmas remain, and with this came the idea of a "mental health day."

A mental health day is just like a sick day — it is a day where you stay home from work or school to take care of yourself. Just like missing work because of a nasty cold, people take a sick day to take care of themselves mentally and get back on track.

The truth is, taking a mental health day is critical for many people. Struggling with a mental illness is incredibly draining, mentally and physically. Not only are you facing yourself, but the rest of the world cannot see your illness, so they often call b.s. and discredit mental health.

Enter college students.

The stress of working part-time to pay bills while taking 18 credits of 300 and 400 level classes adds up. You miss your family, and you are trying to find who you are. Everyone wants to know your plans post-graduation, when you are graduating, and what you are doing with the rest of your life.

We don't have the answers. Sure, some do, but most of us? We are scared to death. We don't know anything. Twelve years of school did not prepare us to make decisions in college — nobody taught us how to pay our taxes, how to pick a career, how to buy a house.

Throw mental health issues into the mix, and you've got a 21st-century college student, constantly in crisis and struggling to make it out alive.

This is my reality. This is the reality of thousands of young adults across American and the world.

The suicide rate in 18-24-year-olds has tripled since the 1950s.

In the next hour, 12 teens and young adults will commit suicide.

2,000 people complete a suicide attempt every single day across the globe.

We have a problem here. We have a mental health crisis, and we are not addressing it.

Not only are we in crisis, but we are making things worse by encouraging stigmas and not allowing mental health to be the illness it is.

This metaphor's been used more times than I care to count, but I'll say it once more: You wouldn't tell someone with cancer to just "get over it." So why do we tell people with mental illnesses too?

Mental illnesses are just as serious and life-threatening as physical illnesses. Mental health needs to be taken seriously.

Professors, employers, parents, friends — everyone needs to step back and start recognizing mental illness as a valid excuse for missing responsibilities.

I am penalized if I miss class or work. Sure, we are given so many "sick days," but what if I really get sick? What then?

So I push forward. I refuse to take a break, even though I might really need it. All because saying I need a break for my mental health is not enough.

This has to stop.

Stop making kids prove their mental illnesses are real. Stop telling college students their lives are nothing compared to the real world: news flash, some of us do more than you. Stop refusing to accept that mental health is a valid reason to take a break.

Don't make us be yet another statistic. We make up too many as is.


If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255.

You are enough.

You are enough.

You are enough.

Visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline for more resources and information.

Cover Image Credit: Mallorie Jordan

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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6 Tips For Drinking Tea And Maximizing It's Capabilities

A natural and healthy way to manage your energy, rest, and wellness.

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Drinking hot tea is a tradition that has been practiced for ages, and typically in spots all over the world. There are many benefits to both iced and hot tea, and with time it becomes an acquired taste. I have been drinking a variety of tea for years now, and have tried so many different varieties! I love the endless combos and possibilities that come along with this herbal drink.

Below are some of my favorite tea tips that I've learned or acquired. No matter how you drink it, I hope these tips will change your views on tea!

1. Caffeine is your best friend.

One of the main purposes of tea is its ability to suddenly wake you up, except without the coffee jitters. Drinking a heavily caffeinated tea, such as black or green, can boost your energy in the morning. Tea can be used for long-term energy boost because it doesn't provide the 'crash' that is associated with coffee drinking. Matcha green tea is known for its energy increase and ability to boost brain function!

2. It's okay to relax sometimes.

Just how some tea can give you energy, there is also some teas that can help calm you down after a long day. My go-to is chamomile tea, perfect for sleeping or an upset stomach. Lavender tea is another great way to unwind when you have been under a lot of stress.

3. Longer doesn't necessarily mean better.

Just because you leave the tea bag soaking for two hours doesn't guarantee that the tea will absorb a richer flavor. If anything, keeping the tea bag in the water makes the tea taste bitter. Ideally, anywhere between two and five minutes is the length that the teabag should sit in the water.

4. Tea bags VS loose tea leaves.

When I talk about hot tea, I am alluding to the tea bags sold at the grocery store. Some brands that I have had great experiences with are: Tazo, Celestio, Lipton, and Yogi! Another way to drink tea is the dry leaves and put them in a diffuser

5. Water temperature is key.

Having the perfect temperature of water is the foundation of good and hearty tea! I like to brew boiling water from a Keurig machine. This is the main way that I get hot water for my tea, but you can also microwave a mug or boil water on the stovetop.

6. Play around with the variety.

There are seriously endless possibilities for different types of tea! You can use two different tea bags to combine the flavors, such as ginger and turmeric. Or you can double the strength of a tea by adding more than one tea bag!

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