The month of May is mental health awareness month. This is the time of year when it becomes blatantly obvious that we as a society still do not properly deal with mental health problems properly. It is clear that we are not being properly taught about these diseases in school until it is too late. According to the Parent Resource Program “Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24 and the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth.” This is a heartbreaking, but also preventable statistic. If schools taught youth and teachers how to identify warning signs of mental illnesses, some of these deaths could have been prevented.

While educating people is a good first step it is also important to start talking about mental health in public spaces. If more and more people start doing so, perhaps over time the subject will no longer be considered a taboo one. With this hopefully more individuals will learn that it’s okay to have a mental health issue and feel comfortable talking to a loved one about their condition. While doing this may be a good first step on the road to recovery, it is important to remember that they are not trained professionals. Seeking professional help is definitely the way to go.

As we progress through the rest of the month and onward, take a moment out of your day and check up on your friends. You never know what someone is going through.

If you need help remember you’re not alone.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: