Mental Health Awareness month is nowhere and is an important topic that needs to be discussed. It is a part of today’s society and is among everyone’s life. During this month it is a time to recognize the struggles that everyone goes through and to explain to others that they are not alone.
What is mental health? According to the CDC, Mental health is a vital contributor to lifestyles and to the life everyone experiences and lives. Mental health is what describes the welfare of our minds by being a description of how everyone handles stress, anxiety, sadness, happiness, and other emotions as well. Mental health can be the root of medical problems such as depression or even anxiety (1). For anyone mental health can differ, whether it be stress from school, a sport, or even work that causes the health of the mind to start to change causing a negative impact on someone’s mental state. That is why during the month of May people come together to spread awareness that it is normal to struggle, normal to reach out to other people, and to let others know that no one is ever alone. Even outside of Mental Health awareness month groups like the National Health Association work all year round to work on advocating and helping anyone struggling with mental health.
According to the CDC, about 50% of people will most likely be diagnosed with a mental illness, and a percentage of that are minors (1). This consists of students that experience levels of stress and anxiety from school or even outside of school. An article from the “Child and Mind Institute,” states that students who struggle with mental health can sometimes lead to dropping out of school (2). According to NASSP, in middle school and high school, most students are left undiagnosed from mental illnesses causing a struggle within the school which may result in the actions of dropping out (3). Some Disorders include ADHD, depression, eating disorders, etc. Sadly, due to the years of creating a stagnation of not normalizing mental disorders, not many schools get around to the topic. If there were an occasion that spiked the interest of this topic they might have a school discussion, but otherwise, it is put aside (3).
Many studies have been conducted to research how stress levels may affect students when they have large amounts of homework. It is stated by the Princeton Review that there was a study done by a Stanford researcher that studied the stress levels of “ten high-performing high schools”. The study found that more than two hours of homework causes high levels of stress for students. In conclusion, the high levels of stress caused poor physical health and an imbalance in their daily routines (5). High levels of stress are not conducive to anyone’s health, and ways to reduce it can be meditating, yoga, listening to calm music, spending time with family or friends, or reading a book (6). As students, it is important to keep the mind as healthy as possible to make yourself and your body happy.
As mental health is becoming more known to educators and other groups, people are trying to advocate and push for more ways to deal with mental health within schools. According to the National Education Association, the U.S public education system is still not doing enough to help students with their mental health (6). Students need guidance and support from educators and adults. By conducting class activities within the school that discuss the topics of mental health, could possibly help students who are in need of a helping hand. A statistic study representing the average yearly teen suicide rate in 2020, by the Health America’s Health Rankings, shows that for about every 11 minors per 100,000 people, suicide is committed (7). This topic is something that not many people like to talk about, but those people that are struggling who feel like they can’t reach out to anyone need to have some kind of push in a direction that could save their life. This number is heartbreaking, but there are things that people can be doing to help people who feel like they are all alone. Schools could even help by having more discussions or class activities with students regarding the subject of mental health. Just the action of talking about the topic could help anyone, whether they are struggling or they are in need to be informed of the situations at hand so they could help a friend (8).
Mental health is not something to be ignored and should be normalized in the public school system. Even if minors are struggling mentally, whether it be from school or outside of school, it should still be informed to more students that there is always someone they can talk to whether it be a friend, parent, teacher, or another educator. They should always know they are never alone. Mental health takes a huge impact on anyone, especially in modern-day society, and is perfectly normal for anyone to struggle in any way. Mental Health awareness month only lasts the month of May, but that does not mean people should forget about it. Everyone should always make sure friends or family members are mentally in check. And if anyone needs a helping hand or would like more information on this topic go to the links linked below:
“Mental health is often missing from public health debates even though it’s critical to wellbeing.” – Diane Abbott