June 16, 2024

Breaking the Stigma: Prioritizing Mental Health for Teenagers in Schools

2 min read
Schools need to prioritize and enhance support for students’ mental health

Nearly one in five teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 struggle with mental health issues, yet schools often prioritize addressing harmful social media posts and students who pose a threat to themselves or others over those silently battling with mental health. In Ohio, students are required to watch a Sandy Hook “See Something, Say Something” video every semester to learn how to address concerning posts online. However, these videos do not provide guidance for students who are silently struggling with mental health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 42% of students feel persistently sad or hopeless and nearly 29% of students and adults have experienced poor mental health. This can impact a student’s behavior and well-being. If schools truly care about their students’ mental and physical health, they should take steps to improve the support and resources available to students.

One potential way to enhance the well-being of students is by starting school at a later time. Research shows that a significant percentage of teens do not get enough sleep, especially as they get older and are dealing with sports, jobs, and heavy homework loads. Starting school later in the morning can help students to get more rest and improve their mental health overall.

By focusing on the needs of all students, including those who are struggling silently with mental health issues, schools can create a more supportive and inclusive environment for their students. Aubrianna Spears, a student in Jackson Township, emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the mental health of all students in the school setting.

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