15 A Liberian Student’s View on Mental Health ~ Danlette Delaney

By Danlette Delaney, Montgomery College, Maryland

“I stand at the center of a world that needs to raise awareness about mental health.”

Mental health issues are more common now than ever. A lot of individuals are afraid to talk about their mental health because of what people might think of them. Even though physical health is very important, we must apply the same scrutiny to every aspect of mental health . The more we know, the easier it is to explain the impact on some individuals in society and their loved ones. Growing up in Liberia I never believed that mental health was an issue until I moved to the U.S and started to experience it for myself.

Growing up in Liberia I never believed that mental health was an issue until I moved to the U.S and started to experience it for myself. I experienced depression. The experiences included extreme sense of sadness, lack of motivation to do the things I loved to do, the feeling of hopelessness and crying many days and nights, isolating myself from friends, and wanting  everything to stop because it was too much. Talking to anyone was extremely hard. I felt no one understood what I was going through and that nothing they could have said to me would have made me feel any better. I lost a lot of weight because I wasn’t eating. My mom was always by my side, and it was because of her I started coming out of my shell slowly to talk to just a few people I trusted. It did take a while to fully open because I was still a bit afraid of what my friends would think about me. I started to feel better once I realized that talking helps lessen your burden.

Having a support system is the first step of battling mental health. Be it your family, friends, or a support group, once there is someone to listen to your problems and to tell you everything will be okay, you’re one step ahead of feeling better.  It has been two months since I broke down emotionally to cry my eyes out. I’m not a hundred percent better but I’m getting there. I open up more and tell myself each day that everything will be okay. We can all try to raise awareness by talking more often, sharing our experiences, and educating ourselves and others around us.

From the United Nations Video Library ~ “Mental Health is as important as physical health.” May 2020 (2:15)

Video Summary and Quotes

This video links to my topic because it included how Covid-19 impacted individuals and increased rates of mental health issues.

“Support of mental health must be integrated into every component of national responses to COVID-19.”

This quote explains that mental health should have a national response just as much as Covid-19 did because of depression and other factors of mental health.

A Strong Institution Can Help ~ National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)

The goal of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is to support persons affected by mental illness to live healthy, fulfilling lives that are supported by a community that cares.

“I walk to support my brother + anyone who feels alone.”

This quote really touched me because everyone suffering from mental or physical illness really needs someone in their corner that they can trust  and confide in.

“We strive to create a better tomorrow where all people affected by mental illness can experience hope, recovery, and wellness in a world free of stigma.”

This quote caught my attention because the stigma behind mental illness is very important, and everyone needs to feel that there is hope at the end of every difficult journey.

This institution is strong and sustainable because their goals are accurate when it comes to helping people battle mental illnesses. I believe that what they say, they can do.



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