My current studies in psychology have raised my awareness of mental illnesses such as depression. I have seen how depression changed my friends' personality, robbed them of their passions, and slowly ate at them.
It is sad that despite mental health awareness campaigns, mental illnesses remain taboo, and people fighting depression are labelled "spoilt" or "weak".
Perhaps it is such labelling that forces sufferers to put up a strong front to avoid being a burden to family. Those with mental illnesses should be attended to as fast as possible instead of being left to suffer alone.
I hope one day, students will feel free to stroll into a school counselling room to seek help for academic stress without being mocked by their peers. I hope that one day, those fighting mental illnesses will be brave and comfortable enough to step up and seek the help that they need.
Jan Neo, 17
Year 1 IB student