-to support student mental health-
By Trinity R
Why do we stigmatize and hide mental illness within schools when it’s such a common occurrence, and how can we become a more open and more accepting community? And how can we foster a safer, more supportive community to help ease anxiety among students?
According to ACMH: “1 in 5 children and youth have a diagnosable emotional, behavioral or mental health disorder and 1 in 10 young people have a mental health challenge that is severe enough to impair how they function at home, school or in the community”¹
The American College Health Association claims that the rates of anxiety in young adults are increasing: “Over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. In its annual survey of students, the American College Health Association found a significant increase — to 62 percent in 2016 from 50 percent in 2011 — of undergraduates reporting “overwhelming anxiety” in the previous year.”² And though privileged teenagers and communities like those at KDS may seem at a lower risk for anxiety disorders, “These kids are incredibly anxious and perfectionistic… [there’s] contempt and scorn for the idea that kids who have it all might be hurting.”²
In a survey of the Upper and Middle School of Kent Denver, the students identified the problems they face… and then suggested what could be done to improve their experience in school.
In a separate interview with a local High School counselor, she told me about the issues within Denver high schools of students not getting the help they need because of fears of confidentiality or labeling, as well as a lack of funding. Not only do the students need to make a move to create a more supportive environment, but the administration and counseling network as well.
Middle School Suggestions:
High School Suggestions:
How can we get school administrators involved?
How can our community pass these practices on to the incoming classes of students?
How can we make this a national movement?
- “Problems at School | Association for Children’s Mental Health.”ACMH, www.acmh-mi.org/get-help/navigating/problems-at-school/.
- Denizet-lewis, Benoit. “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/magazine/why-are-more-american-teenagers-than-ever-suffering-from-severe-anxiety.html.
- Schulte-Körne, Gerd. “Mental Health Problems in a School Setting in Children and Adolescents.” Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, Deutscher Arzte Verlag, Mar. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4850518/.
- “Mental Health Literacy Can Be Taught in Grade School.” Performance by Wendy Smith,Youtube, Ted-ED, 3 May 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d2___WYApw.
- Page, Catie. Student Mental Health. Youtube, Ted-ED, 2 Apr. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=P294ri-ydqc.