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Take care of yourself

Samantha Gervais

Assistant Opinions Editor

Image via Riccardo/Pexels

Something that I feel we can all say is a growing concern in our community is our peers’ mental health. Mental health is becoming less stigmatized, and it really is about time that it did.

As the stigma that mental health carries, that stigma impedes a person’s urge to go and have the conversation that is sometimes lifesaving. That being said, I’ve had a week to reflect on mental health through some hardships I’ve been going through and want to remind everyone of something incredibly important: Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of.

Just like we take care of our physical health, it’s just as important to take care of our mental health. Our mental health has a heavier effect on our physical health than we realize. As human beings, it’s important for us to remember that we are innately social beings. Socializing has become such a frightening thing to people to the point that everyone seems to be shutting down more and more.

As it would seem, some people’s answer to that is “let’s go on social media and socialize there,” which isn’t necessarily the answer. Sure, social media can contain a little bit of a relaxing time to catch up on whatever it is that we all enjoy, but it’s also a dangerous weapon against our minds.

Take time to really think about how often we scroll mindlessly and how so many people’s self-confidence and “socialization” is built into comments and likes. We need social interaction with one another to continue to be physically and mentally sound. During the height of COVID, we all can attest to hearing how the mental health crisis soared and the field is now in such high demand as so many suffered depression and anxiety.

Luckily for us, we are growing in an age where we are beginning to accept that mental health isn’t something to be ashamed of. As we progress, we learn more and more every day about the brain, how it works and new ways to improve our mental health. We’re constantly learning and adapting ways to improve our mental health, whether it’s coping mechanisms or medicine regimens. However, no person should go through these struggles alone.

If you or someone you love feel as though you’re in a crisis or losing hope, please always know someone is willing to listen, no matter what. Please reach out to the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by texting or calling 988 or 1-800-273-8255.

As for RIC students, RICovery is a fantastic group on campus for students to turn to for the resources they may need. To my peers, should you feel the need to reach out to anyone, please do.

You always have been and always will be worthy of the time and help.


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