How my culture impacted my views on mental health

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

Mental health awareness has increased significantly over the years. Thanks in parts due the works of many mental health organizations such as the national institute of mental health, mental health of America, national alliance on mental health and American Foundation of Suicidal prevention as well as local support groups. Even though there are huge strives made over the years, we still have a long way to go and there are still many challenges to overcome. One of the challenges we need to overcome is the stereotypes surrounding mental health. Many of these views are rooted in culture beliefs and upbringing.

Photo by Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash

My culture play a significant role in how I view mental health. Coming from a West African family, mental health was not talk about. If I was having any thing related to mental health, stress over school, having anxiety, depression and being overwhelm, I was usually told to tough it up. I heard this my entire teenage years and early in my 20s. I quickly learned at a young age to suppress most of my feelings and emotions. There are negative stereotypes surrounding mental health in my community. People with mental health issues are thought of as complaining and not wanting to take responsibilities. Due this many people in my community refuse to seek professional help and fear being put on medications. Even though my views on mental health had changed over the years, for the longest time I had the same views as many people in my community.

There are still many obstacles we need to overcome to change how mental health is view. Educating and creating awareness around mental health are steps toward address the the problem. Also recognizing mental health problems as medical problems is anther step in helping us address and the problem. We should not alienating people with mental health issues. Instead, we should create a safe space for people to talk to someone through support groups and making it easy to get access to professionals.

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Yekason Yeans

Yekason Yeans

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