The Importance and Evolution of Mental Health Awareness

By: Ruchama Benhamou  |  November 22, 2023

By Ruchama Benhamou, Managing Editor 

Living in a world where mental health is a significant concern makes delving into the nuances of psychology not just an academic pursuit, but a crucial necessity for society. From COVID-19, to the stressors of a rapidly changing world, we are grappling with multifaceted challenges that underscore the importance of a comprehensive understanding of psychological well-being. The pandemic’s pervasive effects on mental health have highlighted the fragility of the emotional resilience of many, emphasizing the imperative need for accessible mental health resources and treatments. The ever evolving societal shifts and socioeconomic landscapes demand a need for sociological imagination to further aid not only individual experiences, but also fashion adaptable coping mechanisms for societal wellbeing. As we navigate these complexities that shape our emotional stability, it is evident that through awareness and education, we can create a collective embracement of empathy, resilience, and holistic wellness.Throughout my life, especially throughout university, I have encountered moments where the lack of understanding about mental health and overall emotional wellbeing made me feel isolated and ashamed. Whether it was a teacher, friend, or peer, the lack of emphasis and validity regarding mental health struggles was apparent. In university, taking a sick day is not only accepted and even encouraged, but asking for a mental health break is demeaning and not necessary. I came to realize, that whether one has a psychological diagnosis, or is simply feeling mentally overwhelmed, the perspectives and attitudes towards emotional health are detrimentally underrepresented. Thus, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of education and empathy during times I felt unseen and unheard.

It is my belief that fostering awareness of mental health efforts in education and advocacy serve as pivotal tools in combating stereotypes, labeling, and the pervasive stigma surrounding psychological disorders. It is imperative to nurture an environment that encourages open conversations, disseminates accurate information, and dismantles misconceptions of mental and emotional health. Embracing diversity in experiences and narratives, further contributes to a culture that acknowledges the multifaceted nature of mental health, cultivating empathy and understanding rather than judgment and marginalization.

Through awareness and empathy of emotional health, true change in the way we view and treat psychological disorders can be effectuated. This ongoing evolution of psychology has given rise to innovative therapeutic models, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). These evidence-based approaches not only equip patients with practical and individualized coping mechanisms, but also empower them to navigate life’s challenges more effectively. Additionally, advancements in treatment methodologies, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and a new wave of clinical trials, highlight the progressive nature of psychological interventions, offering more promising treatment plans for those who have not responded well to conventional treatments.

The evolution of medications tailored for mental health conditions represents a significant stride in psychiatric care. From the development of more targeted and personalized interventions, to the integration of neuroscientific discoveries into the efficiency of medications, the field continues to explore innovative ways to address the complexities of mental health disorders, aiming for greater efficacy and fewer adverse effects. This dynamic landscape underscores the importance of ongoing research and collaboration between psychology, neuroscience, and pharmacology to continually refine treatment options for individuals affected by mental health challenges. Together, through education, awareness, and emphasis on mental health treatment and wellbeing, we can fashion a future of acceptance and healing.