Remove Mental Health Stigma And Open Communication

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Many of our youth worry excessively and are perplexed at how everyone else seems to have it all figured out. Their anxieties could be a result of peer rejection, their parents' divorce, feeling too different, failure at school, how they look to others, or societal issues. 

As a result of their fears and worries, their quality of life suffers and anxieties increase. They may have trouble sleeping at night or experience sleepiness during school. They may even have trouble concentrating, become irritable, and lose interest in their favorite activities.

Let’s remove the stigma around mental health and open the lines of communication.

Children need a safe space to talk and write about how they feel. They need guidance on figuring out why they are feeling the way they do and how to overcome those feelings. It’s important to remember that mental health is comparable to physical health. In the same way, we encourage our children to eat healthy and get exercise to prevent future issues, we need to encourage them to express themselves in a positive way and exercise thinking healthy thoughts.

The arts are an effective way to ensure that children have outlets of expression. From dance to theatre and even creative writing, the arts provide a positive framework for our children’s mental health. We have seen a decrease in schools providing the arts to students and this is an easy solution to make sure our young people are able to access, express, heal and create resilience. Chattanooga is known for our ingenuity and creativity. Let's foster this in our children as well.

Language matters and it’s worth changing our language habits. Every person is more than a label. Negative terms or phrases ostracize children and close the lines of communication. Whether it comes from adults or their peers, words are powerful and can leave lasting impacts.

“You are unbearable/impossible!”

“A ‘B’ is fine, but an ‘A’ is better.”

“Don’t eat that or you’ll get fat.”

“It’s not that big of a deal.”

“You’re so lazy.”

Many problems are made worse by stigmas and negative reinforcement. Only 41 percent of adults with a mental health condition received help and less than 50 percent of children 8-15 received mental health services, says Fortune.com. We can do better. Our schools can lead by example by creating safe learning environments and healthy outlets that show children how to navigate through life’s challenges.

Miracle Hurley
Candidate for School Board District 3



A Successful East Ridge Bake Sale

Saturday's event at the Camp Jordan Pavilion was nothing more than extraordinary, if not history making.  Alongside the threatening eminent domain letters the citizens of East Ridge received, a Union was formed amongst the East Ridge Police Department.  Coming to City Council the night of April 26, I had only one thing I was focused on: eminent domain.  ... (click for more)

Chip Is A Winner For District 2

With a 27 year military career followed by a successful chief executive officer business career, I am a strong advocate of making an informed and decisive decision.  Based on both of my careers, beyond a doubt, Chip Baker is the most qualified person to serve as the next Hamilton County District 2 Commissioner. Several traits that are absolutely necessary for success in ... (click for more)

5 People Shot On Cowart Street Early Sunday Morning

Five people were shot on Cowart Street early Sunday morning.   At approximately 2:55 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to the area of 1400 Cowart Street on reports of multiple people shot. The shooting was near Coyote Jack's where one person was killed and another injured in a shooting in December 2017.   Upon arrival, police found several ... (click for more)

Body Of Robert Townsend, 60, Found In Dumpster On Laura Street

The body of Robert Townsend, 60, was found on Friday in a dumpster on Laura Street.   At approximately  11:19 a.m. , Chattanooga Police were dispatched to a deceased party in the 2500 block of Laura Street. Upon arrival, officers located the body inside the bin.     Violent Crimes Bureau responded to the scene. The decedent was transported to the ... (click for more)

Dalton Swimmers Win CASL City Meet

Chances are really good that Dalton coach Jason Mezaros will sleep good Saturday night. No question he is dog tired after directing the Chattanooga Area Swim League’s annual Bill Caulkins City Meet, but he will probably sleep with a smile on his face after his Dolphins captured the team championship Saturday night at Fort Oglethorpe’s Arlene Crye Municipal Pool. The Dolphins ... (click for more)

Local Tennis: The City Championships are July 19-22

The annual City Tennis Championships will be held July 19-22 at Manker Patten Tennis Club   Open Division:  The event will include the open division in men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed with prize money at $1000 for men’s and women’s singles winners and $500 for the runners-up and $250 for the semifinalists. NTRP Doubles Pla y: Doubles play ... (click for more)