The importance of incorporating mental health programs into school systems

Shriya Bikumalla

Mental health is such a significant issue worldwide. Studies show that approximately one in five teens between ages 12 and 18 suffer from at least one diagnosable mental health disorder. In order for the younger generation to learn what they are going through and how to resolve their issues, California has passed a bill which will require high schools to provide students with a course on mental health education.  

SB 224 will require schools within California to include a section regarding mental health in health classes. This bill will be very useful for students who struggle with their mental health and want to access the resources available to them. 

Freshman Rohit Marem said that this would be “100% useful for me. I can’t say the reasons exactly but it would be very helpful.”

The main reason behind why teenagers struggle with mental health is due to the lack of access to quality support and services. In order to maintain a balanced mental health, Marem explained what it would mean to him and his peers to have a useful educational system to help them deal with their problems and what they are going through. 

Putting this course into action could benefit the educational, social, and mental aspects of someone’s life.

“It is proven that mental health can affect students’ attendance and performance in school,” said junior Serina Liu. 

This is true because one of the main effects of depression is wanting to isolate yourself and not wanting to go outside. School could become a hassle while dealing with mental health issues. Some of these symptoms include lack of concentration, low energy levels, and emotional outbursts. This course would better improve school wide performance on academic tasks. 

From an educator’s point of view, this bill will definitely help students with their mental health struggles, but this course will not be as good as seeking help from a professional.

 “I think having the information and knowledge about symptoms, treatments, and sources of help will be a major benefit to ALL students,” said psychology teacher Jennifer Puente. 

The counseling department has begun to share Student Social-Emotional Request Forms around campus. They hope that if students are in need of talking to a trusted adult, they can fill out the form here.

Staying educated about your mental health is extremely important to live a healthy and happy life. If schools are not implementing mental health education well or they’re not answering certain questions, there are other alternatives. These include but are not limited to websites, counselors, therapists, family, etc.