Education on mental health can deconstruct the stigma

September 19, 2022

Human+hand+helps+a+sad+lonely+woman+to+get+rid+of+depression.+A+young+unhappy+girl+sits+and+hugs+her+knees.+The+concept+of+support+and+care+for+people+under+stress.+Vector+illustration+in+flat+style

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Human hand helps a sad lonely woman to get rid of depression. A young unhappy girl sits and hugs her knees. The concept of support and care for people under stress. Vector illustration in flat style

In a recent survey, over 50 percent of students do not feel comfortable talking about mental health and reaching out for help. BHS has started the 7 mindsets which are new social-emotional learning (SEL) lessons. These lessons are conducted during advisory as a way to help present students with a way to know about mental health. The bigger issue rather than resources is the stigmatism surrounding mental health. 

Some students may harbor internal judgment of people who say they go to therapy or go see a counselor because they can’t do this or that. The biggest step students can take next is to alleviate some of that stigmatism.

 In addition, Donna Carlson, the primary nurse at BHS, hopes more teachers will be willing to incorporate the seven mindsets into their classrooms and PRIDE times. 

“The philosophy of SEL is a good place but starting younger with kids is where we should be because we need to teach people to co-exist and cope with their mental health and not let it hamper their ability to function in life,” said Carlson. “We need to teach people how to live with it and provide medications and accommodations.” 

In addition, teachers, counselors and administrators implore students’ parents to educate their kids. Each household is different and talking to trusted adults can show students the ropes and help guide them in their experience in high school. Students’ number one job is to not only learn but to be the best version of themselves they can be. 

Every student has a brain that needs to be cared for in similar ways to their physical well-being. Mental health illnesses can be manifested in some physical ways through nausea, headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath. 

Senior Ammiah Wynn believes that the mental health of every student at BHS is important and that students must approach each other with empathy and honesty. 

“We are getting more in touch with making it known but it needs to be something that we can talk about,” said Wynn. “When talking about mental health it’s always an awkward conservation but making it normal in schools through education is good because students will speak openly if they have the chance to.” 

It is always okay to take a break and relax. Students need to pace themselves and then push themselves a little over the finish line to be successful. The biggest thing is to realize that students are not alone. Mental health is an issue that affects everyone, whether it’s positive or negative. Getting over that stigma and everyone’s opinions is the first step to then opening up to others. The more common the conservation is, the better. 

Junior Jay Signer advises students to remind themselves that their mental health doesn’t define them and to be aware of themselves and their surroundings. 

“Tell yourself to breathe, focus on the things you can change, and not dwell on the things you can’t,” said Signer. “Take it one day at a time, focus on the positive, you’re human and it’s okay not to be okay.” 

 

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