Mental Health has been a stigmatized subject for many centuries. Mental illnesses are hidden in every person around you. Many choose to talk about it but more are likely to keep it to themselves. Yet while so hidden, Mental Health illnesses can affect one’s lifetime.

50% of all lifetime mental illnesses develop by age 14 and 75% develop by age 24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Saint Joseph County.

While mental health affects everyone in life, it is a common subject among teenagers as they are still trying to find their place in the world. Teenagers are going through high school, determining what college to apply to, and how to start their adult lives. Penn News Network goes into depth with Penn Wellness Counselor, Jennifer Tiller, who discusses how mental health affects students of Penn High School and gives hope to destigmatize mental health within the Penn Community. Ms. Tiller has been working as a Mental Health advocate for 20 years. She received her undergraduate in social work and worked as a social worker in a mental health setting in a hospital. She then transitioned to school counseling for 11 years.

“Even the longest days are 24 hours. Even though they are long, they are still just as short as all the others and you can make it through them”

Kaytlin Klein

Technology these days are a huge part of everyone’s life. Media is used to spread messages of any kind. Whether positive, neutral, or negative, they all may affect one person in a different way than another. This can be done on software like Snapchat, Instagram, and many other media platforms.

In the current status of the world, it is very common for men’s mental health to be overlooked. In fact, per year, 6 million men are affected by depression alone according to Mental Health America. Based on a poll, 40% of these men have never spoken about their struggles to anyone. Ms. Tiller helps explain the importance of men’s mental health and the societal norms that are placed among men.

Ms. Tiller mentions the death of “tWitch” or Stephen Laurel when speaking about the importance of mental health and the effect of technology on one’s life

It is very important for everyone to discuss their mental health. Although it is a scary topic, speaking up helps more than it hurts. Ms. Tiller explains that everyone has their highs and lows, but it is also important to talk about them. Ms. Tiller explains not only talking to someone you trust but someone who will also take action if needed.

“When you practice gratitude daily, it may help you shift from where you are right now”

Jennifer Tiller

If you are struggling or need someone to talk to, reach out. There are many resources at Penn that are willing to provide help. If speaking to someone within Penn is something uncomfortable, many online sources such as phone calls and messaging hotlines are available for anyone. It is important that one knows they are not alone in this situation, we are all in this together. This is Ben Burns and Nevaeh Derkis, reporting for PNN.