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Student Mental Health

Building community

-to support student mental health-

By Trinity R

Image by Ryan Tauss from Unsplash

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?

BACKGROUND:

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

 

 


THE CHALLENGE:

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. 


THE SOLUTION:

Middle School Suggestions:

High School Suggestions:

 


WHAT’S NEXT?

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?

By Baim Hanif from Unsplash


More Resources:

Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students

 


SOURCES CITED:

  1. “Problems at School | Association for Children’s Mental Health.”ACMH, www.acmh-mi.org/get-help/navigating/problems-at-school/.
  2. 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.
  3. 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/.
  4. “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.
  5. Page, Catie. Student Mental Health. Youtube, Ted-ED, 2 Apr. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=P294ri-ydqc.

 

Share this project
COMMENTS: 12
  1. April 27, 2018 by Alex Treisman

    Hi Trinity! I think your project really touches on an interesting idea that needs reforming. Teenage mental health is heavily affected by the stressful environment of a school. Your use of infographics, visuals, videos, and text really all combined to make your project engaging and exciting to read. I learned a lot about teenage mental health and how to best help teenagers in a stressful environment. Thanks!

    • April 30, 2018 by Trinity.Rollins

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. April 27, 2018 by Siena.Martin

    As someone who is struggling with depression and anxiety throughout school, I found this project really informational and well done! I loved the ideas you put forward and the input you gathered from students. well done!

  3. April 27, 2018 by Sydney

    Hi Trinity! Your project is visually appealing and I love the stats you included. I like how you addressed mental health in middle school as well and how you formatted your potential solutions. I feel like high schoolers get a lot of attention because there’s a lot of stress surrounding college applications, and I think that the inclusion of middle schoolers will definitely help with high school students. You did a really good job!

    • April 30, 2018 by Trinity.Rollins

      Thank you!! I think that it’s really important to create a supportive learning environment early on, even before middle school, to prevent the stress culture that we have going on in our high schools today.

  4. April 27, 2018 by Elizabeth.Novogradac

    I really enjoyed learning more about this issue, especially since I am a high school student. I was really intrigued by the student who said that a way that they wish their teachers understood what they are going through and struggle with. It reminded me the project in which students wrote notes titled “I wish my teachers knew…” Overall, I’m glad you researched more into this issue as it is a modern day issue that does need to be addressed.

    • April 30, 2018 by Trinity.Rollins

      That was actually where I got the inspiration for this survey question! It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of school, but teachers that realize their students have lives and experiences (good and bad) outside of school are really important and really make a difference for the students. Thank you for your feedback!

  5. April 28, 2018 by Young Kim

    I think this is amazing – shedding light on a topic as relevant as this one, knowing that the primary audience will be other students was a great idea. I am definitely going to share this out with others.

  6. April 28, 2018 by Julianna Aikens

    Hello! I think that you did an amazing job on this project especially considering that it is focused around a touchy subject! I am always looking to learn more about this topic!

  7. April 28, 2018 by Caroline.Ortiz

    Hey! I like the visual aspects of your project a lot– you did a good job making it interesting to look at! It was really informational and I like how you included the middle school vs high school perspectives! You use a good combo of visuals, videos, and statistics! Well done

  8. April 29, 2018 by Madoka.Kumamaru

    I really liked how you incorporated your information into interactive visuals and videos! I think it makes the sensitive topic engaging. Also, your use of both a middle school and high school perspective shows how we need to have mental health education from a younger age and how we need to be proactive about making sure that there is support from both peers and schools.

    • April 30, 2018 by Trinity.Rollins

      Thank you! I agree with your points – it really is important to create a supportive environment from both peers and the administration from a very young age, I think it would prevent a lot of difficulties that many students face today in school.

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