Mental Health in Students

Rini Heredia, Staff Reporter



Just like physical health, your mental health is just as important, especially as a student. If you’re not taking care of yourself mentally you won’t be able to focus correctly and be as productive as you could be or in some cases the results are much more tragic. 

Early signs of mental health issues usually start around the age of 14 but unfortunately students tend to not seek help until adulthood. Sixty percent of high school students who do go through mental illnesses don’t even graduate. If more schools can get help for these students the number of dropouts would be greatly diminished.

According to The National Alliance of Mental Health, at least one in five people live with a mental disease or disorder. The most common ones are depression and anxiety. 

Some signs of depression are on-going feelings of sadness, loss of interest, changes in sleep, behavior, and appetite, and low energy and self esteem. 

New York is now the first state to require students to learn about mental health at a young age through their new program entitled SMH or Student Mental Health program.

The program is designed to promote and get kids exposed to the effects of mental illnesses at a young age so they can help identify these problems within themselves and peers early on. 

Middle and High School students with undiagnosed mental illnesses tend to face a myriad of problems such as drug abuse, lack of nutrition, sleep deprivation, stress and anxiety just to name a few. 

It’s also important for the adults in a student’s life to also be able to recognize these problems. This includes parents, teachers, and other school staff. Especially since adolescents tend to spend most of their time at home and at school. 

A way to help yourself here at Shepard is by talking to your social worker or counselor. Counseling is not just for people with mental illnesses either. Anyone can talk to a therapist or counselor no matter how big or small the situation is. Counseling is for everyone and there’s no shame in asking for help or for needing someone to talk to. 

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-488-4663 The Trevor Project (LGBT+ friendly): 1-866-488-7386 (also offers a text and online chat service) Crisis Text Line: 741741