Letter to the Editor: January 14th

Dear Editors, 

As exam season approaches, tensions and emotions are high. Families are pressing their children to achieve their maximum potential. Hours on end, students will immerse their head in textbooks.  In many families, though, speaking about mental health is practically non-existent, and having a mental illness is shameful in some cultures. Around January, students have are just hoping to be able to plow through the remainder of the year with decent grades. Being caught up with studies, and sometimes a part-time job, can mean forgetting about self-care—physically and mentally. Fortunately, many corporations and businesses are taking a stand by letting social media lend a voice to those who sit in silence to the stigma surrounding mental health.

January is Bell Let’s Talk Month: an initiative created by Bell Canada to advocate and educate about mental health awareness and self-care. Their initiative encourages Canadians to use #BellLetsTalk and #MentalHealthAwareness on social media. Alternatively, if you’re a Bell Canada customer, every text or call you make contributes to the cause. The power of medical innovation is at the tip of your fingers. The annual initiative also aims to destigmatize mental health and open up a conversation about the struggles of living with mental illness.

While technology can aid so much in advocation to a great cause, if you are a student who believes studying comes before self-care, you may want to reassess your disposition. When your brain is fogged up, how can you expect to achieve success in school? 

Many students have, unfortunately, dealt with adversities during their learning. Time can heal, but time can also manifest itself into a spreading “infection” to the brain. It’s important to seek help when and where possible, and without delay. Mental illness is like any other ailment – it must be treated immediately. 

If you’re someone who is feeling down, look around. Our school’s community has a wide array of support groups, services, and clubs where one can safely open up. Mental health initiatives are imperative for us all, and we must continue to talk about this not only in January, but every day of the year. 

Sincerely,

Ameer Shash

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