In school, students are expected to learn, do a load of homework, get A’s or B’s in all six subjects and come to school consistently. But what if you mentally can’t put yourself up to one or some or any of these?
According to the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI), “16.5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people).” The pressure of school messes with our ability to handle life outside of it. But if you take care of yourself you can prevent developing mental health issues, or at least not have to suffer alone. You should take care of yourself mentally like you would if you had a cold, because if you let stressers build up everything gets really bad.
There are many ways to keep track of yourself mentally. Writing down when you feel off and tracking how long it takes for you to get back to your ‘normal’ is a way to help you measure your moods. According to the University of Rochester, “One of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy way to express yourself. This makes a journal a helpful tool in managing your mental health. Journaling can help you: manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with depression.” It also helps with learning more about yourself, and the earlier you learn how to balance your mental health with everyday life, the more capable you are of success in any area of life.
“I think students should focus on treating each other kindly and making sure everyone feels welcome in the school environment. As far as personal mental health, time management is really important. You have to make sure you’re academic decisions are based on your level of comfort and not the classes you feel like you should take because of what the people around you are taking, or what you think looks good on college apps,” said junior Emma Hanna.
Venice High School has resources you can go to for extra help. For example, Margaret’s Place in Room 210 is one place you can go to for support with domestic abuse. It is a safe place to go when you feel like there is nowhere to go. If you have a mental health condition that is limiting you from finishing work or tests on time then go to the Education Support room upstairs in Room 218 in the West Building. You could qualify for a 504 which is a document that informs your teachers that you have extra accommodations, supports, and services, or for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) which can give you more support than a 504.
“Students should speak out to school administrators and teachers about lack of support. We should ask for assistance for the students who are struggling but don’t have help,” said sophomore Lexie Buckley, “And I like to write and listen to music when I’m having a bad day or when I’m stressed.”