Schools Need to Take a Larger Focus on Talking about Mental Health [Opinion]


Credit to Kylie Taliaferro

Senior Natalie Meers poses for a photo illustration to highlight the importance of mental health. More than 43 million Americans struggle with mental illnesses. One in Five of our youth has or will develop a mental illness in their lifetime.

Mental health is an important part of human life, and students should be taught ways that they can improve their mental health. They should learn about mental health as early as elementary school so that they can be aware of unhealthy and healthy patterns.

To become aware of these patterns students should be able to talk about their mental health struggles easily and openly. They should have more resources and more access to help. The North community could benefit from having more counselors that can support the school’s large population.

Mental health should also be addressed in more classes. It is only lightly talked about in ninth grade health and psychology. Giving students more chances to be able to talk about mental health with other students and relate to one another would be a big help.

One thing lots of students have in common is anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are ravishing the mental health of teens all across the world. According to the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas, on average, 14 teens die by suicide per day. Faculty and administration should be able to recognize signs in students before it gets to the point of suicide. They should be able to have teaching techniques or tools they can give students to improve their mental health.

Two main factors that can improve mental health are less stress and more sleep. First of all, school starts at 7 a.m., causing students to wake up at least one to two hours before to get ready. According to the CDC, teenagers aged 13-18 should sleep eight to ten hours. Most students don’t even get eight hours of sleep causing them to be tired for at least the first two to three hours of the day. Students could benefit from school starting at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. Second of all, students are stressed. There are seven classes in a day and students have to juggle assignments and homework in every one of them. Teachers should take into consideration how much homework they give to students, after all their goal is to help students thrive.

Overall, schools could benefit from giving students the resources they need, and letting students talk about their mental health as easily as physical health is talked about. By doing this, the rate of anxiety and depression in our community could decrease.