The 60%

This one is for the girl with the semicolon tattoo.
This one is for the boy who keeps his head down in the hall.
This one is for the twins who everyone loved and then--
Wait, what happened again?
Oh yeah, one of them died,
And everyone thought it was some freak accident,
But no, it was suicide.

This one is for the girl who dreams of slitting her wrists.
This one is for the boy who gets made fun of for being tall.
This one is for all of us who struggle with what none of us talk about.
This one is about this thing
Called mental health.

I've gotta pause myself now,
'Cause if I get going I won't stop.
So, let me quickly sum it up.

80% of today's teens struggle with severe depression and/or anxiety,
And that number is on the rise.
But only 20% of that 80% get help.
So what about the other 60%?

The 60% is what you don't see.

You see a boy who was held back in geometry,
And you just assume that he's "dumb."
But you don't see
That his failing grade
Just below a D
Is because his mother was just diagnosed with cancer,
Stage 3.

You see a girl who wears a hoodie,
Even if it's 90 degrees,
But you don't see what's under her sleeves.
You just laugh at her,
And call her "Hoodie Girl"
As she passes you in the hall,
And you don't see her scarred and bleeding wrists at all.

You see a girl up on this stage,
Ranting about people that she doesn't know.
But you don't see her scars,
You don't see her darkness,
You don't see that she tried to kill herself--

No, you don't see mental health.

I have gotten the help that I need,
And I have regular sessions of therapy.

On that topic,
You take therapy like it's a joke.
You laugh at how messed up someone is
Because they "Have to go to therapy,"
But it's a lot more common than you think,
And it needs to be taken seriously.

We're all a little messed up,
I mean welcome to high school,
"The best four years of your life!"


A better description is--
“The most challenging, and mind twisting, and heartbreaking experience of adolescence."
And I’m not saying it’s not all amazing,
But for a lot of us,
It sucks.

Because nobody asks how you’re doing,
Nobody sees what you’re feeling.
You just see smiles and hear laughter in the halls.

But the ignorance
In all of us,
When it comes to our mental wellness,
Needs to be changed into information,
Not separation from our classmates,
Just because we aren’t as popular, or as noticed, or as smart.

But the labels need to stop,
Because that’s what starts it all.
You never asked that boy in your geometry class
Why he was held back.
You never asked “Hoodie Girl”
Why she never wore a dress.

You never asked,
So you never saw.
But our mental health is so much more important,
And it affects us all.

No matter how insignificant I may be,
And no matter how much attention you paid to me,
This discussion needs to be brought up more frequently.

Because this one is for the girl with the semicolon tattoo.
This one is for all of us,
Both for me and for you.
This one is for the lack of attention our minds receive.
This one is for this thing,
Called mental health.

This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world


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