By: Saaniah Hardy
Mental health is a battle, but it’s not something one should take on alone. Sometimes the shadows of doubt and negativity may slowly take over someone. When this happens, the battle begins, and a fight ensues to not be overcome by darkness.
These shadows are the biggest problem of mental health. People let the shadows control them; others take a flashlight (support) and shine it against the darkness. Whether a simple bad day, depression, low self-esteem, or chemical imbalance, if the shadows take over, teens need to know that there’s a hand on the other side waiting to pull them out.
The purpose of this column is to help our fellow students and create safe discussions around mental health — not just one mental health problem, but how mental health affects a person. This column will explore any issue dealing with the physical, mental, and social mindsets and states of a person’s health.
Mentalhealth.gov defines mental health as: “a person’s condition regarding psychological and emotional well-being.” We encourage you to correspond with us and engage in discussions mental health awareness. You can also take the survey at the bottom of this article to send in your article ideas.
The United States has a growing mental health problem; the school we attend should not. Although it would be unreasonable for the Oracle staff to take it upon themselves to solve Americas mental health problem with this column. The Oracle staff does believe that they can alleviate the burden placed upon some students. North Springs teachers and staff agree with this. This week two staff members – – Assistant Principal Kevin Rogers, and Chemistry teacher Tonya Davis – – agreed to give their insights on teen mental health awareness. We will speak to students, staff members, and others throughout the school year.
The Oracle asked the North Springs staff members – – Assistant Principal Kevin Rogers and Chemistry teacher Tonya Davis – – 7 questions about mental awareness. To start the discussion, we wanted to know their personal definitions of mental health: Mr. Rogers defined mental health as, “based off your state and health of the mind, also agreeing that it was physical health.” Similarly, Ms. Davis thinks mental health is “…anything that effects the mind, and the thinking in your everyday life.”
The second question we asked was if they saw mental health as a problem at this school. Mr. Rogers disagreed that it is a problem, while Ms. Davis agreed that it is. The Oracle does see mental health as a problem at this school, with students saying they are stressed. Ms. Davis, as a teacher, sees that when students take a test, their personal problems and anxiety can greatly influence their grades. Since Mr. Rogers isn’t in the classroom with students almost every day, he might not see the problems that students have, unlike Ms. Davis.
The effects of mental health can have varying levels of seriousness, but The Oracle staff still wants to shine a light on the effects of mental health on teens at North Springs. Ms. Davis agreed that body image, parental and societal pressure, and external responsibilities creates a lot of stress for teens. Mr. Rogers says the environment, changing bodies, predisposed genetic traits, and new life experiences carries much influence over a teen’s wellbeing. Rodgers gushes, “teen years are important and are precious. It is important for students to enjoy their teen years and persevere past their hardships”.
Mental is important in every school across the country, so the last two question dug deeper into the problem on a national level. Ms. Davis thought that United States’ government would not pay much attention to mental health because its focus is elsewhere. She says North Springs is doing a good job with approaching mental health, seeing that clubs are supporting students. Mr. Rogers thinks there is more we do as a country and school to support mental health. He says as a country, mental health support should be available to those who want or need mental health services. He pronounced that therapy should be free of cost and stated that America, as such a developed country, that mental health should be addressed more by our government. Within the school, he says the counselors should have an open-door policy and North Springs should hire a full-time psychologist and therapist. He ends his comments on a positive note, saying there’s always room to grow.
The Oracle staff wants to display to students that mental health is an important issue to teachers and staff members at the school.