It’s no secret that in today’s society many teens suffer from mental health issues, in fact according to the Polaris Teen Center, 1 of every 5 teens between the ages of 12 and 18 suffer from a mental health issue.
With these issues being so common, we have many global resources, such as suicide hotlines, to help with these mental health issues. However, it does not always guarantee that the people in need of these services will use them.
In the United States, there are 14 suicides committed for every 100 thousand people. This is a 33% increase from 1999, where there were 10.5 suicides committed for every 100 thousand people according to Very Well Mind.
Loy Norrix senior Tanner Luther said he feels mental health awareness has, “brought light to students who may not be able to get work done because of their mental health issues, and it lets teachers understand that there are deeper issues than just not wanting to do work.”
Right now in Loy Norrix, teachers are counteracting students facing a difficult time by allowing them personal space and room to breathe when they need it.
In Loy Norrix, we have many options including guidance counselors, Safe to Tell faculty, and other supportive students in the halls, such as people who are older or supportive friends. Some students are using these outlets and have felt better.
Luther feels that Loy Norrix could counteract these issues by simply, “talking to students to make sure that they’re successful and also able to be calm and relaxed to get work done in a timely manner,” said Luther.
“Safe to Tell” are teachers and other faculty who are willing to talk to a student in a time of crisis, and although it was originally started to assist and counsel students who have been sexually assaulted or harassed, teachers are also willing to help you with your mental health. Teachers such as Mrs. Pankop, Ms. Layton, Mr. Burgen, and Mr. Kreider are all available to help you in a time of need. You can identify more faculty throughout the building with signs on the door that state “Safe to Tell.”
Mental health is not anything we should joke about, and we as a school need to be open to students who are overwhelmed or depressed.
A few steps to take when you see a student having a panic attack or who may be overwhelmed may be allowing them to go to an isolated area and breathe. You can walk with them while talking to them about what may be bothering them, bring up positive things such as, “It’s Friday, we don’t have school tomorrow!” or “There’s a pep assembly today, we don’t have to go to our fifth hour,” but the best thing to do if you feel that the situation may be out of your hands is to report the issue to a teacher.
Teachers are trained to handle these situations and allowing them to talk with the students who are struggling can help much more. If you feel a student may self-harm, you should always go to a teacher or trusted adult and make sure that immediate action is taken.
Make sure to take care of yourself. If you need to take a break because you feel the level of activity is bringing you down, take a break. Go to therapy as you feel necessary and talk out issues with a certified psychologist. Stay in touch with people you feel would help you when you are having a severe problem.
Mental health issues are deeper than crying and being angry. Make sure you care for yourself and allow yourself positive coping skills such as listening to music or talking issues out with friends to get yourself through the day.