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Struggling Mentally? Help Exists

By Geremy Garcia

Have you ever felt like you are alone in the world? Have you ever felt that everyone was against you, and nobody wanted you? Have you ever felt like you do not want to live anymore? If you have felt this way, know that you are not alone.

According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), 16.5% of youth in the United States, aged 6-17, experienced a mental health disorder in 2016. That is like 7.7 million people we are talking about. This is just the U.S. alone! Who knows how many people all over the world suffer and feel just the same way as you do: sad, alone, even wanting to die?

If you are feeling any of the following symptoms: excessive worry or fear, feeling excessively sad or low, confused thinking or problems with concentrating and learning, you may have a mental illness. These are just some of the warning signs. Read a more thorough list here: NAMI list of warning signs. If you ever feel this way, do not be shy; ask help when you need it. In seeking help, you won’t be alone either. According to NAMI, 50.6% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 with a mental health disorder received treatment in 2016.

Now, you may ask, what happens if I do not receive the help I need? Here are just a few things that could potentially happen to you. NAMI says, “You will have a 40% higher risk of developing a cardiovascular and metabolic disease than the general population. People with serious mental illness are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions.” You may experience a substance use problem. You may face unemployment issues. You may even feel the need to drop out of school.

According to NAMI, “High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers.”

Furthermore, “Students aged 6-17 with a mental, emotional, or behavioral concerns are three times more likely to repeat a grade.”

The last thing that may happen to you, is at last, the saddest thing of all, suicide. Please remember that it is always okay to find and talk to someone you trust about this sensitive topic. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the United States.

Please know that even if it does not look like it, there are people out there, willing to love and care for you, no matter what. Many of them are right here at White Plains High School. If you are struggling with depression, tell a trusted adult. Remember that a teacher, administrator, or counselor can offer you guidance and connect you with people who can help.

Finally, if you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 It is available 24 hours, and you can speak to them in English or Spanish.

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