Bringing Awareness to Mental Health

Bringing Awareness to Mental Health

Emily Robertson, Staff Writer

Why don’t schools talk about mental health and mood disorders? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20% of teenagers who are 13-18 years old deal with a mental health condition. Students in our school are dealing with these problems everyday and we hardly bring awareness to it.

Our school has a very supportive and helpful guidance counselors and they always have their arms open, but students are sometimes too scared to go and talk about their problems. We have done surveys in advisory before that ask us questions about the way we are feeling and what’s going on but I personally haven’t gotten a follow up for my answers.  I understand that there are lots of people that go to our school but every student should get a follow up.

I don’t think teachers understand why students act the way they do. I don’t always have good days and it shows in the classroom. When I have a lot on my mind, I don’t look engaged in the work and I usually don’t do the best I can. It’s a dreadful feeling and you can see it in my eyes. Teachers sometimes say it’s because students stay up all night playing video games or they’ll say that we are lazy. Although that may be the case for some people, our mental standpoint has a very big impact on our work ethic. Students go through tough things on a daily basis and they think about their problems a lot. In my opinion, I think some teachers are a little too hard on students sometimes when it comes to these type of situations. There are multiple people that have diagnosed disorders like OCD, depression, anxiety, bipolar, bipolar-depression, etc. These are disorders that affect our everyday life inside and outside of school.

On the other hand, I think teachers and staff are doing a great job on minimizing some of the many stresses that can affect our mental health. I don’t see much bullying anymore and a lot of teachers can be understanding if you are willing to tell them what’s going on. The guidance is almost opened full time and they even have a computer in the front where you can try to set up an appointment yourself. Teachers at Greer High are pretty friendly and understanding about after school activities like if you play sports or have a job. Teachers and staff can only do so much if the students aren’t willing to  tell them they’re having a problem. It’s also understandable if the staff is a little hesitant or scared to interfere or get involved with students problems because it may be too much for them to help. With that being said, I think teachers can get a better understanding of the students situations if they ask them after the bell rings or even try to email their parents.

At the end of the day, students mental health and mood disorders are very important to be acknowledged and I wish schools in general could focus on our mental health a bit more. I think it would make a big impact on the life of many students and it may make school feel like a more understanding and helpful environment.