Eugene

"No brain no pain" - Homer Simpson

You are Not Alone – A Short Documentary about Mental Health

Mental Health, a Virus Living on the Inside.

Eugene He

June 2, 2022

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, had its opening victims infected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019. It spread violently across the globe, wiping out 6.31 million souls to this date (Coronavirus Death Poll). The sudden pandemic brought the world to its knees. Jobless citizens roamed inside their homes as countries locked down. As a result, agony sprouted into lost minds. Depression and anxiety emerged. While the virus can be devastating to one’s health physically, mental health is a factor often ignored but can too be destructive like the virus. Fear of getting sick and seeing their loved ones dying had clogged the minds of countless from escaping their paranoid thoughts. The United Nations had assigned similar issues to this SDG goal 3, Good Health and Well Being.

AGRISMART INC, June, 20, 2016 Image source: https://agrismartinc.com/blog/sdg-3-good-health-well-being/

When the virus made its first moves, people were like injected with a spell of mixed feelings. Overwhelmed, frustrated, terrified. People did not have a sense of direction. Propaganda, fake news, and carnage were what took over the globe. While all the focus was put into preventing the virus from spreading, mental health had been slowly creeping into the minds of countless. A study by the World Health Organization showed that cases of anxiety and depression had grown rapidly by 25% in the earliest years of the COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19 Pandemic”). Though living in your homes may be a cohesive ritual in the eyes of many, but with social life absent from lives, it had been especially devastating to teenagers. Socializing and hangouts with friends are some vital elements that build a teenager. Staying home with little to no information about the outside world had proven to be a torturing task. It had rotted the mental states of many, largely targeting teenagers. Another fact to consider is school closure. According to the UNICEF Office of Research, “More than 39 billion in-school meals have been missed globally since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to school closures.” (“Nutrition Crisis”). Food scarcity had become a new hurdle for students that rely on school meals to overcome. With the grocery stores being cleared and an unstable income, it is making it increasingly more difficult to find a stable source of nutrition while keeping calm. This amount of pressure on parents with lost jobs is translated to stress and anxiety. This can be even more dangerous for kids since they do not get a sense of safety seeing their parents stressed out (Haines). Issues like this were the ones leaving permanent scars and traumatizing the futures of youths.

In response to the careless actions to solve mental health, organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) were working tirelessly on a solution. It was stated that “WHO and partners have worked to develop and disseminate resources in multiple languages and formats to help different groups cope with and respond to the mental health impacts of COVID-19. For example, WHO produced a story book for 6-11-year-olds, My Hero is You, now available in 142 languages and 61 multimedia adaptations, as well as a toolkit for supporting older adults available in 16 languages.” (“COVID-19 Pandemic”). Not only that, communities had also been supporting each other by offering free open gyms and free yoga classes (Haines).

An element often underestimated is the importance of mental health. It can hit someone relentlessly without much warning. It impacts different aspects of someone’s life and greatly influences the way someone thinks, behaves, and feels (“Which Conditions Need Mental Health Awareness?”). Furthermore, negative energies can spread rapidly, and plague everyone in the community with a gloomy mood. Consequently, a key factor to prevent this is raising awareness. First to identify the things you enjoy doing to support your own mental health, then the second stretch would be to unfold the positive energies across the community and support others by giving answers you gave yourself that can potentially save lives. Though it is vital to keep an open mind when supporting people suffering from mental disorders. Make them feel included, let them know they are not fighting the demons alone, and to ensure the negative energy does not pass on forward (Haines).

NAMI, October, 9, 2019 Image source:  https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/October-2019/Mental-Health-Conditions-Seen-in-Childhood

All in all, the virus had been a tremendous labor for humanity for the past few years. Stirred by lockdowns, COVID tests, and living in constant fear allowed depression and anxiety lurking in the dark to make its moves, luring countless souls into a pit of sorrow. Likewise, mental health can too be punishing like a virus on the inside if ignored. Issues like school closure had great impacts on students. When schools closed, so did school lunch. Families that rely on school lunch are finding a new source of nutrition. This had parents stressed out and children starving since all the resources were invested in preventing COVID-19 from spreading (“Nutrition Crisis”). Though,  organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) had been working soundlessly on solutions. They have produced products such as story books for people to cope with the stress COVID-19 brought to us all (“COVID-19 Pandemic”). Even tiny actions like opening free gyms or giving free yoga routines can translate to positive energies multiplying swiftly. Keeping a stable mental health should always be a top priority, especially during this brutal time (Haines). It would not only benefit yourself but also drag others out of the negative spiral.

A Bullseye View, Image source: https://corporate.target.com/sustainability-esg/community-engagement

Works cited

“Coronavirus Worldwide Graphs.” Coronavirus Worldwide Graphs, Worldometer,

     www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/worldwide-graphs/. Accessed 5 June 2022.

“COVID-19 Pandemic Triggers 25% Increase in Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression

     Worldwide.” World Health Organization, 2 Mar. 2022, www.who.int/news/item/

     02-03-2022-covid-19-pandemic-triggers-25-increase-in-prevalence-of-anxiety-and-de

     pression-worldwide.

 

Haines, Kara. Personal interview with the author. 19 May 2022.

 

“Nutrition Crisis Looms as More than 39 Billion In-School Meals Missed since

     Start of Pandemic – UNICEF and WFP.” For Every Child, UNICEF, 27 Jan.

     2021, www.unicef.org/press-releases/

     nutrition-crisis-looms-more-39-billion-school-meals-missed-start-pandemic-unicef-

     and.

 

“What Is Mental Health Awareness, and Why Does It Matter?” Port ST. Lucie

     Hospital, www.portstluciehospitalinc.com/

     what-is-mental-health-awareness-and-why-does-it-matter/. Accessed 5 June

     2022.

A Revolution Fought by “Guerrillas”

The Cuban revolution was a salad of bloodshed, different ideas, and “guerrillas”. Dictatorship was an idea the Cubans did not accept. The M26-7 was an uprising led by Fidel Castro to fight against their dictator Batista. Castro and his men were clever with the ways they fought. Guerrilla warfare was an example. The word “guerrilla” comes from Spanish meaning “little war”. Guerrilla warfare consisted of ambushing with a small team against a larger group and hit and run tactics. These tactics were what made the M26-7 grow in popularity so quickly. It had gradually guided the M26-7 to a road of hurdles and carnage. 

The Cuban Revolution – Arm Wrestle Between Two Dictators

It was March 10, 1952. Waking up like usual to tackle another day, news spread like mad. The Cuban government was corrupted by a man named Fulgencio Batista. It was told that with great wealth, he took Cuba in no time. Alongside my leader, Fidel Castro, we sunk into the realm of bloodshed, determined to overthrow our wicked dictator. I have covered my life in this devastating period in form of 3 separate journals. 

Continuity and Change

The immediate aftermath of the revolution took a turn when Castro took control. The war for power has ended, but people were still unhappy with their new leader. Castro believed in Communism, which scared the citizens of Cuba. Approximately 1.4 million fled to the island of Cuba to the United States from 1959 to 1960. Likewise, the actions were soon recognized by the United States, which was terrified of the idea of Communism. The U.S. would quickly withdraw its support in response to Castro taking the presidential seat in early 1961. To top things off, the U.S. toggled its imagination with plans to assassinate Castro. Castro held no concern against exploding cigars, to flesh-eating wetsuit. The CIA had in total 638 failed attempts to assassinate Castro. Nevertheless, after endless torturing, Cuba remained its high efficiency in sugarcane production. It was known that up to 90% of its crops were exported and sold across the world. This stayed the same even under Castro’s rule.

Breaking Down Unbroken

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, a book illustrated the story of Louie Zamperini. The transformation of a rouge child, specialized in stealing and drinking alcohol at the age of 8 into a piolet fighting in World War 1. Louie’s adventure starts when his older brother Pete discovers his ability to run. Along the way, Louie had broken many records and was a track star until World War 1 raged out. Forced to join the military, Louie once again, found himself on the run. Perseverant, courageous, quick thinking, Louie overcame devastating obstacles, fighting for equality, fighting for peace.

The book kicked off as the first few chapters formed the theme – anything can be achieved with determination and hard work. Below is how I tracked my thinking.

In lesson 8, we were told to be careful with parts that might seem stretched out intentionally to help readers gain more understanding. As I read further, when the book is reaching its highlight, the theme drifted off to become – among all the chaos and hate, kind souls will always spark over dark ones. The theme – “Anything can be achieved with determination and hard work” still hot on its heels.

As the book goes on, the earlier themes melted away. The idea – POWs (prisoners of war) captured are strong. They fight for their country and will be willing to sacrifice themselves. Stood out the most. Also having a strong connection with the theme – anything can be achieved with determination and hard work.

Unbroken is an amazing book. I will recommend this book to people that like books with history, adventure, and a bit of thriller.

 

Dear Martin According to Justyce

Dear Martin by Nic Stone is a story about Justyce, an African American high school boy experiencing racial discrimination. He would, in the story, write journals to Martin Luther King about the problems he faces daily. Theme of the novel is hinted throughout the book. Discrimination usually occurs when people misunderstand or underestimate others. Though Justyce is graduating on the top of his class, going to Yale university, he has been running a race that has different obstacles holding him from getting a complete life. As he grew older, all he wanted was to be normal. His actions could result him in bigger consequences. He needs to be careful. In the real world, one wrong move and he could be accused of something he didn’t do. Or worse, death.

Inside a humanist

 

The found poem above came from “thank you mam” by Langston Hughes. It shows the external conflict between the protagonist Roger, and the antagonist, the woman. The poem, it showed Roger struggling to escape the large woman and being taken away by the woman.

Faux Leather Challenge

In product design this semester, we were challenged to make something out of an A4-sized faux leather. The first thing that came to mind was a wallet. I always have the problem of losing my ID card. I decided to make an ID cardholder.

The main features of the wallet are the two pockets sticking out on the two sides. These pockets could be used to hold ID cards, paper money, or credit cards.

I am proud of myself because I have overcome my biggest fear – sewing. I always struggle to sew; it has always been a challenge to me. This time, I got help from other fellow classmates, and I think did great.

If I could restart, I would have made the wallet a bit bigger, make it double-sided, so it looks better on both sides. I would also add a snap to the wallet to make it actually close and keep the things inside.

Design Leather Challenge

One problem I have on a daily basis is that I keep forgetting to bring my ID card to school. Without the ID card, I couldn’t access the school and have to check my name off with security.  My solution is to make a magnetic wallet and stick it onto my fridge. I pass my fridge daily so it will be the perfect spot to keep my ID card safe.

 

I got my inspiration from these photos.

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