According to the national institute of mental health, nearly 51.1 million people have some form of mental illness or suffer from similar issues of moderate to severe mental conditions. Did you know there are two main types of mental illnesses and associations of other health factors connected to mental health?

The two main mental health illnesses are AMI which stands for any mental illness and SMI which stands for serious mental illness. Any mental illness is a mental, behavioral, and emotional disorder with ranges of mild, moderate, and severe impairment. Serious mental illness is the mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders causing serious functional impairment which can interfere and limit major life activities because of incoming disabilities.

Health factors connected to mental health and mental illnesses are depression, stress, social confusion, and problematic principles of going to get help.

Specifically, colleges and universities are half of the population of mental health and illnesses. At Savannah State University, there are many students and professors who push for mental health awareness and inside information.

A few students and professors give their take on mental health and all they feel matters about it.

Recent May 2021 graduate in Mass Communications Imani Swanson who is currently obtaining her master’s degree at Texas Southern University shares why mental health awareness matters.

“Mental Health Awareness matters to me because at one point in my life I did battle with depression and attempted suicide at the age of 14 years old. It’s important to be informed of what mental health is because most of the time it is not noticeable to the public eye. A close friend or family member could be dealing with it privately but may seem just fine on the outside. I will always be an advocate of mental health because you never know what people may be going through.”

Another student Samuel Scott who is a soon-to-be graduating senior in the spring and the Vice-President of Active Minds organization at Savannah State University also shares why mental health awareness matters.

“Mental Health to me is important because is life can throw anything at you. But you have to be ready to fight back and take control. I am an advocate for mental health because I am someone who suffers from mental breakdowns. But me talking to people and understanding my triggers. I have learned to take control.”

Former Savannah State University Assistant Professor and journalist Jessica Sparks who is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida teaching journalism shares the impact of mental health on the way people live.

“Mental health is extremely important to people's lives, just as important as physical health. It’s really common for professionals and students to feel like being stressed and overwhelmed is normal and ok, but it’s not healthy for your brain. Eventually, you’ll see side effects like memory issues or physical problems because of it. In addition, there are other things that could be happening to make the effects worse, but the stress is covering it up.

“For example, I recently learned I have ADHD. It manifests differently in adults and women than people normally think. That ADHD has made it harder for me to do things that require a lot of memorizing, and now I know why I get a little depressed after an especially intense day. My brain is literally too tired to be on high alert all the time. This is common and should be discussed more freely so people won’t feel so alone when they feel those types of symptoms.”

“For a college student, it’s important to recognize when you’re stressed, why you’re stressed, and what you can do to manage it. It might mean going to a counselor, taking a break, journaling, going for a walk, or calling a friend.”

Professor Stephanie Alexander, Sociology Professor, at Savannah State University as an assistant professor as well shares the impact of mental health on the way people live.

“Regarding the impact of mental health, we are in the middle of a pandemic, and mental health is already an issue in the United States. When we add isolation to the situation, due to the virus, this further exacerbates the problem, especially for individuals who are homeless.”

“In the U.S., we don’t take mental health seriously, so there are numerous people running around, unaware that they have an illness which may affect their thought processes and way of living. Notice, when the police are called for a mental illness situation, there is a heightened risk that the call could end in death because police officers are not trained to deal with these types of issues.”

Mental Health Awareness is critical at this point in our history if we are going to resolve numerous issues, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, homelessness, joblessness, improvements in mental care, etc.

Mental health including the different illnesses and awareness is very important and imperative. Mental health should definitely be heard. At Savannah State University, there is a whole site page on their university website for mental health and wellbeing resources. Savannah State University quotes the page as Tiger Wellness: Strive. Thrive. Transcend. The site page layout gives many resources like the 5 no-cost treatment therapy visits, my hand's self-help program, student app/wellness hub, and much more.

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