Days in school should be taken off for mental health


Becky Parsons, one of the four Loy Norrix counselors here to help students with mental health.

Naliyah Hayes, Guest Writer

Mental health is important for every individual, especially students who struggle with school related mental health issues. However, students aren’t the only ones who struggle with their mental health.

Mental health is a topic that is taken seriously by Loy Norrix staff members. They’ve always looked out for students, but when we all had to start online classes in the fall of 2020, teachers may have been more concerned. With everyone being at home, teachers couldn’t teach how they wanted to and that affected them. 

Loy Norrix English teacher Anne Lewis was on board with the decision to take days off for a mental refresher.

 “Yes. School is an activity that uses the brain and intellectual strength and health in the same way football is an activity that uses someone’s physical health, and playing hurt is never good,” said Lewis. “Without our mental capacities, we are not fully human.”

Although you may look to your counselors to be there to help with grades, transcripts, life after high school and so on, they are here for more than that. 

Loy Norrix guidance counselor Becky Parsons said, “All four counselors that we have up here are trained mental health professionalists. I tell anyone who will listen that I would much rather deal with your feelings, than your grades any day,”  Parsons continued,  “Fifty percent of the school population struggles with mental health issues…  On average 2-3 students come in daily to speak on their mental health. Those are the students that know we’re here to help with that too.” 

Monthly, that would be 40-60 students per counselor. Imagine how many students come in with concerns on their mental health, in one school year alone. 

These are just the students that are willing to speak up, so imagine how many more students it would be if everyone spoke up. This is a topic that should be taken seriously. 

Parsons said, “If you are burnt out you are not your best self and you aren’t bringing the best of yourself to the table.” 

Mental health is important for everyone. If you are looking for help, reach out to a trusted adult. Whether that’s your parent, older sibling, favorite teacher or guidance counselor, ask for help. Reaching out to a guidance counselor at Loy Norrix goes by last name. Last names that begin with A-E Pam Robisons, F-K Becky Parsons, L-R Rebecca Learner and S-Z Natalie Washington.

If you don’t want to reach out to a counselor, there is a website where you can talk to someone who is trained in mental health as well. It stays 100% private and you may end it anytime you’d like. Go to Free 24/7 Stay Well Counseling – Free Mental Health Resources.