One in seven teens has a treatable mental illness, like anxiety, depression, and or ADHD according to a 2016 study done by the University of Michigan. But, every day those same students go to schools that lack mental health support systems. Students, educators, and parents should advocate for more help to close the gap in access to resources for children and teens. Today’s school students are experiencing record levels of depression and anxiety, alongside multiple forms of trauma. When experiencing this, students start to fall behind on their work and their grades suffer. But there is no way around this if they can not get the help they need, especially because trying to get back on track sometimes feels like a huge wave crashing onto you.
Teenagers are struggling everywhere. Just the grading system alone gives students anxiety because there is a lot of work to do. Teens do not wanna spend all their time working and going to bed late every night, but many of them do. This over the course of an entire school year can cause a lot of anxiety. You may not even notice it because anxiety comes in many different forms. It may look like really bad stomach aches, headaches, nausea, or a lack of eating and sleeping. This is not the first time officials have warned of a mental health crisis among teens. In October of 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health, saying that its members were “caring for young people with soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicidality that will have lasting impacts on them, their families, and their communities.”
Mental illness takes a real toll on people in different ways and they need somewhere to go and someone to talk to. As an adult or an educator, these kids should be your priority. You should not go into that field to serve young people or have kids if you do not intend to take care of them.
I myself know what it is like to experience it all. You stop wanting to go to school in general, then you fall behind and feel like you will never catch up and it leaves you feeling hopeless.
If you want to help you can sign petitions and protest for better conditions for your kids to feel safe. Don’t you want to help your kids? When you care about these kids it’s good for them to go somewhere safe and not bottle it up which can lead to self-harm in numerous ways. You could save someone’s life. The pandemic made a spike in children’s needs. Now that kids are in school for the first time in a while they are having issues with anxiety or depression, even violence issues. “Students are struggling with friendships, relationships, studying, and measuring up,” says child and adolescent psychotherapist Katie Hurley, author of “The Stress-Buster Workbook for Kids.” “While many educators are doing their best to walk these kids through this critical period, they are carrying a lot of weight on their shoulders. In some schools, teachers find themselves acting as teachers, therapists, college counselors, and more
as they attempt to calm the worries that enter their classrooms every day.”
People often say to counterpoint this rising mental health crisis “they are kids, they don’t understand the world.” Just because they do not understand quantum physics doesn’t mean they can not see the pandemic around us, the sad people, and the deaths we all have had to deal with. Some teenagers throughout this pandemic have picked up some horrible habits like skipping meals or smoking cigarettes. They should be able to feel like a normal person and not have to struggle with addictions as teens. They should be able to come to you and not be scared of you putting them in hospitals or programs because you are unsure of what to do.
One thing teens should do is find a therapist and parents should help with this. There are tons of therapists everywhere that will let teens vent and possibly help them get a diagnosis or medication that can make their life better. Maybe it is time to ask your doctor for a test or two to see what your child needs.