We’ve heard it time and again that health is wealth. It’s essentially the only thing that will last you a lifetime. You only have one body after all. How you take care of yourself and live a healthy life can likewise determine the quality of your life in your lifetime. However, there is one aspect of human health that is seldom talked about – mental health. A person’s mental well-being is just as important as his/her physical health and we shouldn’t even be arguing about it at this point. When ignored or not cared for properly, a poor mental state can cause various problems in life not only to your health but also your relationships with others.
You’d be surprised to find out that the state of your mind can have a big impact on your body. But it is not surprising to see someone fall ill when they are constantly stressed, losing sleep and worried about a lot of things all the time. You’d notice that you tend to lose weight, get dark circles under your eyes and feel anxious and fidgety all the time when something is bothering your mind. If it persists, it’s not impossible to get sick and exhibit physical symptoms like when you are actually sick with an infection or ailment. Even criminals and offenders are known to have mental health issues, especially that most crimes they do are incomprehensible and only people who have a twisted mind and have no sense of what is right and what is wrong will likely do it.
Between 50 and 70 percent of the young prisoners in state juvenile justice systems have a mental disability, but an analysis of those systems found that only one state — Indiana — requires all teachers in such facilities to have special education certification.
Criminals are no longer just adults who lost their way but a growing number of juvenile delinquents and prisoners show that even young kids can commit crimes so unspeakable it makes you question their innocence after. But since they are still young, it is possible to correct them early and prevent these young offenders from living a life of sin if only an expert who knows how to deal with their fragile state of mental health can work with them and help them see the error of their ways and address their special needs.
In 2013, Villayat ‘Wolf’ Sunkmanitu launched a series of rolling exhibitions to raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and to promote creativity as a coping mechanism for disability.
His poetry raised awareness of what living with PTSD feels like, while his photography demonstrated his escape from the ‘Chains of PTSD’.
His exhibitions allowed him to interact with and listen to other people with disabilities, civilians and veterans alike and he was made aware of similar problems being experienced by others but on a wider scale.
“People were opening up at the exhibitions by either leaving comments in the guestbook, through social media or talking to me direct,” said Villayat.
Not only criminals but the victims, most especially, have a more vulnerable state of mental health and will likely require professional help to get them back on track. Virtually everyone who has PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder finds it difficult to cope if not for mental health experts who help them overcome whatever traumatic situation they were once in. In this case, photographs proved to be handy in showing the general public that trauma can be any forms of bullying, abuse, accidents, or anything that felt beyond normal where your usual coping skills faltered and left your emotions and mind vulnerable to undue stress and so much more. It is visible in your physical demeanor whether you are okay mentally or not, so don’t just shrug it off and seek help rather than face your inner demons by yourself.