by Paige Calabrese ’18
Here in the United States in the third week of October, we are in the midst of Emotional Wellness Month and National Depression Education & Awareness Month. Although it is always important to reflect on mental and emotional health, this month is an opportune time to check in and self-assess.
Millions of Americans, college students in particular, are affected by mental illnesses such as depression. Therefore, use this month as an opportunity to gather information on how to identify symptoms of mental illness, what resources are available to help, and how to be there for a friend or family member who is or may be suffering.
As we reflect individually on our emotional and mental states this month, remember how much kindness and sensitivity can impact a person’s mental health and turn a bad day around completely. Be mindful of how words and actions may affect others, and take into account that everyone has struggles and problems that are not necessarily visible or easy to identify.
As a Friar Family, we have a responsibility to take care of and look out for each other, especially members of our community struggling with the effects of mental illness. We owe it to each other to be kind, understanding, and sensitive as we all have different inner struggles.
Finally, take the time to be kind to yourself: do yoga, take a nap, binge-watch Bob’s Burgers, do the things that make you happy. Keeping up with general physical health is also a great way to improve your mood and overall outlook; feeling balanced, healthy, and happy is nearly impossible if you are not getting enough sleep, subsisting entirely on ramen, or doing 10 hours of homework per day.
Kindness is an important part of each person’s life in some way, and an even more important part of a community like Providence College. Showing kindness and compassion to others can change lives and help those with mental illnesses, and we need this to be the focus throughout the rest of the month.