The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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The forensics team mascot Loy enjoys Marquette Park after a successful tournament.  This plushie joins the Forensics Team in all of their tournaments throughout the season and has become a valuable member of the team.
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Loy Norrix Athletic Director Andrew Laboe sends 10 Knights off to college at the annual signing day event.
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Ethan Williams and Max Berlin May 24, 2024

Mental health struggles are still a concern for students

Credit: Venelope Ortiz
Junior Nakia Lee Palmer works with counselor Rebecca Learner. “I know that asking for help is something I MUST do,” said Palmer.

The quiet corners of a teenager’s room, where laughter once echoed freely, is now replaced by silent struggles that won’t go away. A fight not seen with bruises or scars, but rather with a mind clouded with uncertainty and doubt.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a growth in cases of young adults with mental health problems.
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC survey spanning from 2009 to 2021, there was a 26% increase in high schoolers reporting feelings of depression and helplessness. A full 42% in 2021 said they experienced these emotions regularly.
Because of this increase in high schoolers’ mental health struggles, more and more schools are offering help and counseling for students.
Counselor Rebecca Learner puts her best effort into guiding her students, whether it’s helping them find the correct career path or placing them in the classes they need. She also tries to make her office a safe and comfortable space for everyone who needs to talk with a trusted adult. Learner is one of four counselors who are ready to connect students who need additional help with resources for further support.

I think everybody struggles with mental issues, I think the secret is to take away the stigma. If you were to fall down the stairs and break your arm or if you were to cut yourself, we know how to handle and respond to the physical, but the mental is just as fragile.”

— Rebecca Learner

Even with school and community resources, students still hesitate to reach out to teachers or even counselors. Many students prefer to talk about these issues with close friends. However, close friends don’t have the expertise and training a skilled counselor has.
Sophomore Isaiah Gonzalez has gone through a lot since the pandemic. It has caused him to be more reserved with whom he shares his struggles.
“I do feel supported,” said Gonzalez. “I know my friends are always there if I need to talk.”
Other times, students seclude themselves or avoid others by not reaching out to teachers and other staff members for help. This prevents them from completing homework or enjoying hobbies or activities that they once enjoyed.
“It affected me a lot, ” said junior Edward Aguilar. “Freshman year and sophomore year, I didn’t really have any friends– I didn’t talk to people. I could really count on myself to do things.”
This could also be related to the way older generations grew up. Older generations often view mental health as a family matter, something that should remain private. As time goes on, however, more and more people are reaching out, putting aside these notions, and finding help from others even if they find it difficult.
“We’re coming to a point where we know that we need to talk about topics and situations that are uncomfortable,” said Learner. “When I was growing up, it was a different generation and many families felt that ‘what happens in our house stays in our house’ or ‘we don’t share our business out there.’”
As we continue to grow and learn, so does our understanding of the effects of mental health on our community. It is important to let go of old stigmas surrounding the discussion on mental health and build a community that is filled with help and empathy towards those who are struggling. Getting help is never easy, but it is one step closer to being your best self.

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About the Contributor
Venelope Ortiz
Venelope Ortiz, Tower Talk Editor
Hi, I am Venelope Ortiz. This is my first year being on Knight Life. I am a junior, and I joined because it seemed like a good opportunity to get more involved in events that happen around the school. I enjoy drawing when I have time. Pronouns: she/her/hers
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