Mental health a daily focus for Lincoln residents

"I think we just need to be open to speak about what we have going on mentally. I think a lot of people hold stuff in."

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Mental Health Awareness Month is nearing a close, but people in Lincoln say it is a daily focus for them.

“I think we just need to be open to speak about what we have going on mentally,” youth conditioning coach Matt Kirkland said. “I think a lot of people hold stuff in.”

Lilly Duggan, who is heading into her senior year at Pius X high school, she says it’s okay for people to be open about their mental health.

“I think just not looking at it as a weakness, not looking at it as something that needs to be fixed, necessarily, but something that we can work towards,” Duggan said.

Robin McKelvey says she worries about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic and social media have on the mental health of her grandchildren.

“My granddaughters seem to be more in social media now than they were even before COVID, which can be a good and a bad thing, because they can talk to their friends about some of the issues that are going on, but also, they’re missing out on that one-to-one contact,” McKelvey said.

What kinds of things do people do when they are feeling down?

“I definitely like to listen to music,” Kirkland said. “Definitely like to work out a little bit.”

“I just like talking to my friends, talking to my family, or listening to music, singing,” Duggan said.

“I do a lot of photography, so that gets me outside,” McKelvey said.

“No matter how small it feels to you, it’s important to recognize it and to work towards something,” Duggan said. “To not stay quiet about it. Share it with someone and don’t be ashamed of it. Everybody has their struggles, and it’s okay.”

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News