May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Slow down and enjoy things that make you smile

#TeenEssay

 

May has arrived and summer vacation is close for students; a time of rejuvenation for some, and a time to focus on sports, friends, etc. for others.

May also happens to be Mental Health Awareness Month. This topic is a very complicated one to tackle for many reasons. The most prominent being that mental health has a vast number of branches that require their own undivided attention.

The nightly news, if you watch it, often will mention the rising amounts of depression, anxiety, and suicide among teenagers following the pandemic and the growing popularity of social media.

Today, I want to shed a small light on different resources for teenagers struggling with their own mental health. Personally, I have the basic hotlines of Lines for Life (8779688491) and a text line that is available until 11 PM (273talk839863) saved onto my phone for emergencies.

I also think The Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery can be an excellent resource for exploring preventative measures against self-injury. It also communicates effective ways for teens to cope with growing stresses and learn why they might feel a certain way.

There is also helpful information dedicated to parents who need additional guidance. Communicating painful or difficult feelings can prove impossible for many, especially when their only options are close friends and family, so any external support can serve as an extra cushion to fall back on in case of an emergency.

This month is not about endless numbers and statistics showing the growing numbers of people suffering. This month is about teens, and adults alike, paying extra attention to themselves and those around them.

Summer’s endless possibilities will come but taking five minutes to slow down and enjoy the things that make you smile can start now.

 

Elisabeth Dellit is a 9th Grader at Jesuit High School. She enjoys reading, writing creative stories, baking/cooking and participating in her school’s drama program.