• June 18th, 2024
  • Tuesday, 02:38:20 PM

Mental Health Matters: What Being Aware Can Do

Olivia Almaguer, a representative for the bilingual department for Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners. (Photo: courtesy Olivia Almaguer)


By Hilary Olivares

Posted March 28, 2024


When we hear about mental health, we often disregard the physical and mental challenges that are associated with it. For starters, what is mental health and how does it affect those who are dealing with it? Mental health can be characterized as a well-being for the mind in order to cope with things like stress, anxiety, or any other uneasy feelings. Those who are affected by mental health can push away their thoughts and feelings or find it hard to talk to someone about what they are going through. Mental health is important because it makes up how we pursue our ways of life and how we interact with society. Having someone to talk to, whether it be a friend, family member, or crisis center, can save someone’s life before it’s too late.


Mental health is a common thing we see with all ages, races, and genders. Although there are many aspects of what can cause poor mental health, social media among the many, are what can strike changes to a person. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok have an outlook on them that result in mental health issues. Most commonly seen, is the lifestyle in which others live. Those who are well-known celebrities show off their designer bags, their mansions, luxury cars, and can make those who aren’t as fortunate feel less of themselves. Now even as a celebrity, many can see them as happy individuals because they can afford to buy whatever they want and live however they want, but that’s far from the truth. Celebrity or not, social media is a place that allows others to make comments about your appearance, what beauty standards should look like, and how you should have the power to drive yourself to a good work ethic. This in itself causes a person to feel at their lowest leading to depression and other mental health challenges.


It’s okay to ask for help.”
Olivia Almaguer, Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners


Mental health has been existent for years, but it hasn’t been talked about until recently. When Covid-19 first hit, schools and jobs were going remote as temporary caution for everyone’s safety. However, this would only be the beginning to a worldwide lockdown. Among schools being remote, people began to lose jobs due to not being able to be in a face to face setting. This caused a lot of people to struggle with their mental health because these jobs were sources of income and ways to help pay bills. Many people were able to file for unemployment, but many people became homeless and lost all that they owned. This alone has had an impact on everyone and has caused anxiety and depression. Those attending school virtually could not be surrounded by their friends and many students started their first year of middle and high school remotely and seniors weren’t able to have a graduation. It doesn’t just stop there. Unfortunately, many people have lost loved ones due to Covid. What may have been a struggle among many, is how no one could visit their loved ones in the hospital or have a proper goodbye.


Facing the most trouble when it comes to a mental health problem is the Hispanic and Latino community. Many who are of Hispanic or Latino descent, often find that their problems should only be kept within their household and never told outside of that. It’s very common for Hispanic or Latino cultures to overlook the idea of mental health causing a buildup of emotion. Olivia Almaguer, a representative for the bilingual department for Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, has shared a lot on why mental health is important for everyone but also for those who may be from other cultural backgrounds and who may not speak English. The Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, is a free non-profit, confidential, 24 hour, 7 days a week, crisis center that is open to everyone and anyone of all ages and genders. Olivia states, “We are seeing such a high demand in calls. For example, last year, I want to say we were averaging about 200 to 300 calls a month, we started to see the spikes in December. But in January of this year we were at 801 and for the month of February we were almost there, we were at 739, so we’re starting to see more of that volume coming in.”


Not only does the Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners provide services for any crisis, but they provide follow-ups through their non-profit organization which can be weekly or monthly calls. They also provide mobile dispatch services in which a person from the crisis center can meet you in a private place or in the comfort of your own home to have that face-to-face interaction. Having a resource where you can talk to someone can be very beneficial to any mental health crisis to help navigate the next steps for someone to continue their life journey.


“It’s okay to ask for help,” said Almaguer.


Mental health looks different for everyone, but it is important to remember that there is help out there and that it is okay to not be okay. There are so many aspects that play a role in how we feel and deal with things and knowing that there are places such as Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners can provide a lot of help for many. A healthy mind can better all of us and overall allow us to be more kind to our mind.


Hilary Olivares is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.