The Growing Issue Assaulting High School Students

More students need help with this budding problem.

More and more high schools demand that students have immaculate grades and perfect records, which ends up either motivating the student or putting pressure on them to fulfill these expectations, becoming too much for the student.

High school students’ mental health doesn’t just affect how well they do in school, but in other areas of their life as well. This is seen with 1 in 10 young people having a mental health challenge that is severe enough to impair how they function at home, school or in the community, according to the Association for Children’s Mental Health on “Problems at School”.

Modern-day high school education is more demanding than it was in previous years. “Today’s high school students are facing higher stress and anxiety rates than any other generation,” said Amelia Marceau. The schools of today aren’t providing the students enough support to students, making them feel like they need to hide their problems.

If schools could address the mental health issues and normalize the conversation of it students could feel more comfortable and safe in their learning environment.

A blog on Rave Mobile Safety by journalism student Amelia Marceau on high school mental health pushed to acknowledge the mental health of students. This could be a sign that high school students’ mental health is increasingly becoming a problem. The blog also says  “In an article with The Washington Post, Marco Grados, an associate professor of psychiatry at the John Hopkins Hospital described the impact of the online world on students.” Social media can cause high school students mental health to decline through things like pressure to keep public appearance and pressure to get people to like them. ACMH in an article on problems at school says “youth with emotional and behavioral disorders have the worst graduation rate of all students with disabilities”, showing that mental health does affect the students more than just mentally.

“Students are facing higher stress and anxiety rates.” – Journalist Amelia Marceau.

I ask an anonymous student about school and their mental health. In response to being asked, “How does the school handle your mental health” the anonymous students said “They don’t. I do.” They said that school causes anxiety, making her lose the motivation to attend. The student also says the schools don’t care until it becomes a problem.

Mike Veny is a public speaker is a keynote speaker on youth, healthcare, mental health, and other topics. When interviewed, he says that teachers should practice their own self-care, as teaching is a stressful job. Veny suggests teachers are educated on the signs of students whose mental health is decreasing, like low hygiene, and learn how to have mental health discussions in the classroom. Veny says to not assume that everyone is “okay” and ask anyone showing signs if they need help. He referenced a 2018 article by The Economist that stated suicide rates had gone down by 20 percent since 2000, but have gone up by 18 percent in the United States. “Mental health isn’t the students, staff, or parents’ responsibility, it’s everyone’s,” says Mike Veny.                  

A solution to the growing mental health issue is to inform educators on the warning signs for mental health problems. Make forms they can fill out with things like the student’s name, their behavior/warning signs, date the incident took place, etc. which would be turned in to the student counselor for further investigation. 

Some schools don’t have a budget to get students the people they need to talk to for mental health concerns. Also, teachers are tired from long hours at work and may not be awake/aware enough to see the signs of a student’s mental health became worse. Or the teachers may forget to inform the right people about students who are raising concerns. However, teachers do occasionally recognize when students aren’t doing well and ask if they want a break from class or give them space. But sometimes giving the student space is seen as not caring, causing the student’s mood to not improve.

I ended up crying before two school breaks when one small thing that bothered me, like my phone not having service and too much talking in the classroom. I’ve gone to a teacher both times and continued on with my day. This is the result of holding in my concerns, problems, and academic worries until they come out all at once. I held back from talking to someone because I felt that everyone was too busy, either me being busy with school or the staff being busy managing the school.

With society demanding higher education for sustainable jobs students will face more pressure to succeed as the years go on. Mental health is bound to decline more and more. Students should begin to come together and talk to their school’s administration about their concerns and mental health. Schools admins should be ready to listen to what their students have to say, but will they?