The Benefits of a Mental-Ship

John Mark Green, a freelance writer who contributes multiple poems and articles to the Wittenburg Door, once said, “as you remove toxic people from your life, you free up space and emotional energy for positive, healthy relationships.” Indeed, some students believe relationships to be the major pinnacle moments in every high school experience. 

But did you know that a relationship can improve a person’s mental health?

Some couples enjoy speaking about the high points of their mental-ships–meaning, the mental portions of their relationships–and highlighting the beautiful moments. One sophomore couple that has been going strong for two years, Bethany Cheripka and Matthew Crothers, say they have a comfortable and healthy relationship that is filled with a lot of laughs. “My favorite memory has to be hiking up the mountain with her mentor and watching the sunset,” said Crothers.

According to a study run by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 20% of students’ say that their mental health has worsened during the pandemic. However, for some students, having someone with them throughout these hard times have made it easier for them. “Being with Matthew has definitely affected my mental state for the better. I was in a very bad spot in the beginning of our relationship, but he was always there for me when I needed someone to talk to or even just hang out with to take my mind off of things,” said Cheripka.

Some students value being in a relationship because they like the feeling of having someone by your side no matter the occasion. Whether it’s a relationship that has been around for a while, or one that is in its early stages, one can always be there for the other. Sophomore Jaden Ferguson speaks highly of his girlfriend, junior Rachel Warren. “She’s always there for me, even when I’m super happy. It couldn’t be better. When she tries to make me happier and laugh, it just makes [our relationship] that much better,” said Ferguson. 

A healthy relationship can improve your mental health in a number of ways. It can provide someone to confide in during the darkest of times, and someone to enjoy being around in the brightest moments. Being in a relationship can build a foundation of trust that, all in all, can help build trust with others around you. A healthy relationship is a bond between two minds, intertwined by trust and love. 

Christian author and writer Joyce Meyer once said, “We can improve our relationships with others by leaps and bounds if we become encouragers instead of critics.” By becoming people who lift others up, whether it is in a relationship or a friendship, we can encourage others to do the same and become a better version of themselves. 

Sure, a “mental-ship” can encompass the mental health during a relationship, but more importantly, what’s learned in it–being kind to others and being there for the ones who need someone–can make all the difference in teaching us to bring others around us up, rather than down. 

her people who need someone to bring them up.