By Guest Blogger: Kaysha Sampson – mom to an 8 year son and 4 year old daughter

The topic that I want to speak on is Mental Health Awareness. Pretty much speak about the meaning of it. So many youth and even adults are in denial about mental health issues because they are not aware of the meaning. I’d like to let people know it’s OK to talk about it and that mental health does not mean being crazy or something is wrong with you.

Mental health can be many different things, such as depression, anxiety, fear, it can make people feel lost, stuck, and unloved which can cause actions which us as outsiders don’t understand.

That’s why support is so important, where a lot of people dealing with these things may not have that support. This makes it that much harder to deal with one’s mental health or talk about it. I think it needs to be taught to youth. To teach them that it is ok to talk about it because it sometimes starts with traumatization in childhood which may have been caused by hurtful things that they have seen or dealt with at an early age. I believe mental health being taught in schools is important because lots of kids deal with mental health issues who may not completely understand those feelings.

There are a lot of kids who are suffering from mental health problems, and I believe this has a big influence on society and problems we face today. It’s easy for people to point fingers and judge, not knowing what someone has been through. When a child does not know how to understand mental health and how to get support sometimes they grow up living with certain walls built that may cause them to act ways that outsiders don’t understand.

This makes it that much harder to talk about. I would like to see a class that teaches the different aspects of mental health and would like to acknowledge NYS for providing a space for youth to express their feelings and mental health concerns and feel cared for. I would like to personally give appreciation to Sonja, mental health therapist at NYS who is there to be an outlet for kids to express what they are going through, telling them it’s OK, and there are ways to deal with it.