Teenage Girl CryingIn this blog, especially of late, we have talked about depression and the other mental illness struggles that many young women have to deal with on a daily basis. It’s important for us to get inside the heads of the teenagers in our lives (and really, mental illness isn’t simply relegated to just teenagers; they affect everyone from young and old but for the purpose of this blog and what we do at Greenbrier Academy, let’s just focus on teenagers). If we don’t get inside their heads in a positive way, how can we really expect them to change? It would be an impossibility.

Thankfully, more effort is being made all across the country to bring awareness to mental health issues, to bring those issues no one really wants to talk about and bring them to the forefront, to put them center stage for the entire world to see. That is one of the purposes of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which concludes this weekend to coincide with World Mental Health Day, which is dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

Many people and organizations across the country took part in Mental Awareness Week, one such group being MTV, that hotbed of youth culture. One of their main goals this week was to educate the public that the lessons learned this week should not be something that is temporary, but something that stays with us throughout the entirety of our lives; it should be a moment of transcendence and they have eight lessons that should stick with is. In their words, “These are the points we should always be mindful of – if we vow to keep them close, they’ll make us more empathetic and understanding.”

The eleven lessons are as follows:

• People with mental illness are more than what meets the eye.
• TV shows don’t always show an accurate representation of mental illness – so don’t be fooled.
• Therapy is an awesome option and you should never be ashamed.
• Guys aren’t exempt from eating disorders.
• You can’t just make mental illness “go away.”
• There is no “on/off” switch to depression; no one wants to have a “pity party” for themselves.
• Thanks to online therapy, you can get better at living your best life in your PJs from your own house, in your car during a lunch break at work, or from a tropical island.
• Demi reminded us that “People with mental illness are actually more likely to inflict harm on themselves and become the victim rather than be the perpetrators.”
• Politicians bring up mental illness every time there’s a mass shooting, but the vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent, and most people who commit mass shooting are not mentally ill.
• Don’t tell a friend who has anxiety that “everything’s going to be alright.”
• Words we say by accident – to our friends as jokes or in our shady moments – have a lot of power.

These eleven lessons are very important in not only battling mental illness, but also conquering it. These lessons are what we at Greenbrier Academy attempt to instill into our students and so far, our track record shows that we have been very, very successful. We encourage you to check out the MTV article in full. Contact us today to learn more and remember to keep yourself educated on mental illness.