When people think about high school, they tend to think of exciting, energetic, teenage years. But, some also start to think of stress, worry, and degrading mental health. That’s because, despite all of the fun that high school can bring, many people are not in a good state of mental health due to all of the pressures and stress high school causes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, “more than 1 in 3 high school students had experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40 percent increase since 2009.”
A study from the Jed Foundation explained that “51% rated students’ mental health and emotional well-being as excellent or very good. Seventeen percent of administrators rated students’ mental health as fair or poor—nearly two times higher than their rating of physical health (9%).” Students suffer these issues not simply because of school stress though. The top three reasons for mental health problems recorded in the study were anxiety (which could heavily be impacted from school), unhealthy social media use, and lack of support from homes.
Unfortunately, since 2019, the global pandemic deeply impacted the amount of students in high school suffering mental health. In another Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, “37% of U.S. high school students report regular mental health struggles during COVID-19.” These struggles during the Coronavirus pandemic would also impact their life when they were slowly getting back to normal because it isn’t easy to get back on track from such struggles.
This is why the new mental health supports coming from schools, especially high schools, are so important. The National Center for Education Statistics wrote, “. Seventy percent of public schools reported an increase in the percentage of their students seeking mental health services at school since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and roughly three-quarters (76 percent) of schools also reported an increase in staff voicing concerns about their students exhibiting symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and trauma.” Places like a mental wellness center and a counselor’s comforting office are so important to help students and others suffering from mental health problems to get back on track. Leigh is doing an incredible job with helping its Longhorns get their mental health stronger, and students could also help by doing everything they can to help one another or get each other help when needed.