Mental Health Awareness

Danasia Wills, Business Manager

High school students are often oblivious when it comes to students with mental health issues. The best thing to do is make sure high school students are more aware of the effects. By doing this, many things can be prevented and those suffering from mental illness can be understood.

NAMI studies have shown that 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 has, or will have, a serious mental illness. This is around the time students enter high school, which shows that high school may have a high impact on students.

Many high schoolers are not aware of the various forms of mental illnesses people can get diagnosed with. The exact causes of mental illnesses are not known, but it is known that the conditions that may cause it is a combination of genetic, biological, psychological and environmental factors.

Many students entering middle school, high school or a university begin having mental illnesses such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, panic, bipolar or schizophrenia. It is proven that 20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental condition. If untreated, the problem begins to prolong and the symptoms become worse and can also lead to death. There are  90% of people who have committed suicide because of mental illness.

A lot of high schoolers have the tendency to pick on students with illnesses, which makes it more difficult for the students to properly express himself because they are getting tormented by their peers. Also, 20% of youth ages 13-18 are diagnosed with a health mental condition.

Mental illness should be taken seriously because of the harmful effects it can have on the person. Mental illnesses may lead to school dropouts, difficulties in learning, clouding judgment, behavioral difficulties, school failure and more. Approximately 50% of students age 14 and older with a mental illness drop out of high school.

Some warning signs to look out for would be thoughts of self-harm or suicide, thoughts of harming someone else, feeling very sad, out of control, not eating, severe mood swings, usage of drugs, hard time concentrating in school and more.

Schools would be a perfect place to start awareness of mental illnesses because this helps us early identity the problem. Schools need more curriculums that broadcast the mental illnesses and the effects. Trained teachers that will recognize the problems and more effective teachers willing to stop the problem at hand would also be beneficial. The school would be a perfect place break the stigma placed on the students suffering from the illnesses. If someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, be supportive and do not judge them. The best thing to do is, have them seek professional help and love them for who they are. Everyone has a right to education and no one should be stopped because of something they cannot control.