Student resources: caring for students mental health


Annie Kim

With the rise of mental health issues, the counseling services here at Ayala are open to all students seeking someone to talk to.

Dallas Mangold

In our world today, mental health is something major and serious that is overlooked greatly. Students today are plagued with anxiety, depression, and loads of stress, all of which crush them over periods of time. School, home life, and other extra activities can build up for teens transitioning from childhood to becoming a young adult. Avoiding big mental blocks seems easy enough, but in the end it will come back harder. It is hard to express feelings or emotions to adults, and sometimes it is terrifying. Ayala offers help to students who suffer with anxiety, mental roadblocks, or just seeking help to get back on track. 

High school and college campuses alike have all taken action to the growing demand for support in academic and psychological issues. College deans and high school principals have all spoken out about student counselors within their schools.

“Counseling centers have seen extraordinary increases in demand over the past decade,” a longtime student counselor at the University of Virginia, Michael Gerard said.

The basis of this reason as people nowadays seek mental counseling before college or during high school.

“There is more feedback on what we need to grow on because it is a process to grow with wellness centers for helping students at schools,” Ayala’s Intervention Counselor, Mrs. Bateman said. 

Statistically, kids’ mental health at school has continued to deteriorate, stating that 85% of students have linked mental health issues and academics. Through this poll, researchers also found that teen girls experience more academic stress, and have led to violent behavior and changing in normal ways of life. 

Student-Athletes have become big targets for mental health counseling within their schools. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has put out reports about their athletes and the importance of counseling to their performance. Even high school students seek counseling to help vent out academic, extracurricular, and non-school related issues.

“[Mrs. Bateman] helps me manage my stress because being a student athlete, it is a lot to juggle sports and grades and she is willing to help you,” Bella Belloso (10) said.

As of lately, schools have hired school counselors that strictly focus on the well-being of kids. Ayala, and other local schools, have noticed this and taken action towards getting school counselors working on their campuses. Ayala’s student counselor is located in the back of the library, and is usually open everyday during passing periods. 

The awareness of Ayala having a student counselor is scarce, as most teachers do not know of student counseling and how Ayala offers it to any students. However, students know of it through the library staff, who tell students who are experiencing stress and anxiety to visit the school intervention counselor, and will always be willing to help.

“This role helps students to sort of not only deal with academic well-being, but also personal well being,” an Intervention Counselor at Ayala, Mr. Bencomo said.

Administration as well can send students to the counselor if they are experiencing any school or non-school related stresses.

“There has definitely been an increased need for social emotional support, especially after COVID, students seemed to be reaching out more,” an Intervention Counselor here at Ayala, Mrs Calderon-Lem said.

The rise of mental health importance continues to grow, and more students are starting to seek it outside or within school campuses. It is hard to reach out for help, especially to adults you barely know, but the effect of student counseling is astronomical. Raise awareness, speak with teachers, or tell your friends about Ayala’s Student Counseling, especially if you want to seek help. This type of counseling is just for you.