In recent times, society has become more accepting of mental health issues as a whole, however, there is still a stigma present among students. As a high schooler, I see people take mental health as a joke and not try to help the community. I want to help take away this stigma to the best of my ability. The stigma against mental health within students mainly stems from the education of mental health within their school and community.
As the statistics show, it is clear that students suffer from mental health issues. In this example it is just college students, however mental health issues occur among all kinds of students. It does not only impact their ability to perform in school, but it creates a set-back for many students in their day to day life. School is becoming more and more stressful for students, and creates a life path for people, and is often a source for a lot of stress and anxiety. Many students do not take mental health seriously, and are taunted and often times not properly treated. This all stems from the school systems’ education on mental health, and how students are uneducated on mental health from the start, but we can take steps to making a change for the better.
I conducted a study among the students in my high school, of varying age groups. I asked the varying students what their opinion is on the education of mental health within school systems. I had an outcome of answers such as:
“Yes, because I don’t think that a lot of schools focus on that aspect of education for students. I think that it depends on the school because sometimes certain schools have seminars and go into depth, but this is rare.”-Macy Akins, Grade 11
“I think there is a lack of education in the school system. We are not taught about mental health as much as other topics in school. It just doesn’t seem like a priority, even though it’s really important. I think that there should be more exposure overall, and that we need to come up with ideas on how to raise awareness.”-Aleesha Chaudhry, Grade 12
“I think that there should be more talk about mental health in general because there seems to be a stigma against it. It is just something that I have noticed, and it should be okay to talk about it. Throughout high school I think that people are taking down the stigma of mental health, however, it is still not a priority and I personally believe it should be.”-Taha Ahmed, Grade 9
Due to the results of the survey, and the outlook towards mental health within school systems, I am currently working on a plan with my school on the issues of mental health and how we can better educate students and promote awareness. I want to create more fundraisers and awareness (with speeches and overall talk) about mental health to take down the stigma against it. There is only so much I can do within my own community, that I encourage everyone to do the same. One person can make a big impact, and just by reaching out and helping your community, you can make a change too.
What You Can Do
Be active within you community! There is so much one can do in order to change their community for the better. In order to spread the awareness of mental health: contact schools, encourage a change, and do as the following suggests.
The awareness of mental health issues within the world can help prevent the stigma of mental health, especially within students. School systems are still filled with people who are uneducated on such issues, and this can change. So, how will you make the change? In the comments below please let me know:
- Do you believe there is a stigma against mental health in today’s society?
- What steps will you take within you own community?
- Are you planning to reach out to school systems?
- What other ideas do you have?
- What do you think is the best way to help out, concerning this issue?
Start having conversations and list your ideas, because it can never hurt to try and make a change!