Schools should stress mental health more

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A picture of a students average homework load.

Faith Blankemeyer

BY FAITH BLANKEMEYER (’20)

Mental health is becoming a growing epidemic for teenagers. Many things are contributing to this, but the main factor is school. Students have more pressure put on them every year by society, to succeed in life. 

The purpose of school is to prepare students for the real world, however, mental health should be put above everything else. 

According to NPR, “Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year.” Some of these illnesses include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and others. 

Teens are expected to be happy and carefree, but research is showing that this isn’t always the case. Mental health awareness has increased over the years and is becoming normalized, this doesn’t mean that kids still don’t struggle in silence. 

Mental health can affect students in every aspect of life, at home, school and with friends. The way to fix this epidemic is to put less pressure on students and focus on their health.

According to the Association for Children’s Mental Health, “Many estimates show that even though mental illness affects so many of our kids aged 6-17 at least one-half and many estimate as many as 80% of them do not receive the mental health care they need.”

Mental health is important because these illnesses are treatable and are becoming more common. Not only are they treatable, but early detection and prevention are also some of the best ways to succeed during school and life after. 

Another way to solve this growing epidemic is to implement more mental health awareness and treatment in schools. If these problems are given solutions, kids may be more inclined to talk about their issues. 

If schools begin to offer counseling sessions, group meeting times and more flexible schedules for councilors the problem may decrease over time. Increasing awareness could give students a voice to speak up about their issues.

Treating oncoming mental illness early, and providing support for students is the easiest way to help during their times of need. 

Parental figures and school guidance is great, however, increasing the number of options available to students to speak up about their mental health is the best way to treat this ever increasing problem.