Mental health: Is it important?

Tonka News announces upcoming advice column “Ask Abi”

Abi Hutton, Online Advice Columnist

Many people may remember when they were in health class that at one point the teacher drew the class’ attention to a learning tool called the “health triangle”.

In this triangle there are three components that make the lines of the triangle, and they are “physical health,” “social health,” and “emotional/mental health”.

This learning tool teaches that all sides of the triangle need to be equidistant for a person to achieve well being. If one of these components is “shorter” than the other, meaning that it is neglected in some way, all other aspects of the triangle are negatively effected. Often stigma, lack of knowledge and misunderstanding can lead to the negligence of the mental health aspect of the health triangle.

This tool also teaches that people should guard against this in order to protect all of their health components and be as well-rounded as they can reasonably manage to be. The stigma of the past dissipates as more education and open-mindedness spreads among today’s adults and youth, yet it still exists and often people don’t know if they are suffering from a mental illness, when to get help for it, what help to get, and where to get help.

According to school psychologist, Dr. Lisa Bischoff, mental health is in fact as important to upkeep as physical health.

“In order to be successful, we have to have motivation, we have to deal with disappointments and difficulties,” Bischoff said.

Obstacles aside from stigma also arise.

“Obstacles to getting mental health care can include lack of insurance, cost, transportation, long wait times for appointments, and parents or family members who don’t believe mental health services are necessary,” Bischoff said.

When should one seek mental health care?

“I think it’s appropriate if you are thinking that it may help, or if you have an issue then it would be appropriate to talk about what’s going on. We can refer you on to something else or talk about needs for other kinds of services or talk about the issues here.”

There are various types of mental health concerns from extreme situations to daily struggles.

Something that can create difficulties in the realm of mental health (things like stress, difficulties with relationships, confidence, identity concerns) are things that everyone deals with. We can develop strategies to deal with these issues, but sometimes they become more difficult to resolve,” Bischoff said.

———————————————————– would like to announce a teen advice column that will be written by Abi Hutton, WHS junior staff member. You ask your everyday or even challenging questions and she will research and give practical advice from teen to teen.

E-mail your question to: [email protected]

Ask Abi Policies: Not all questions may be answered publicly but your e-mail will get a response. Ask Abi answers are not to be considered absolute advice that should be taken but practical teen advice to consider. All responses are approved by the editorial staff and will often include researched material to help with the response. Please consider asking your question (your identity will not be used in the public response).