Islay H. Michigan

Mental Health Awareness

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

In terms of society, I believe there is a mass amount of change that this country needs to undergo, but one of my main concerns is regarding mental health. In today’s world, a majority of High School students undergo a massive amount of anxiety, whether it’s dealing with academic issues or personal and family issues. While I do believe stress is an inevitable factor of life, I don’t think it is acceptable for a student to be forced to put their mental health to the side, in order to feel as though they are performing “up to par” in all of their curriculars. This country needs to do something to mend this issue. We need to make sure young adults know how to cooperate and manage their stress, so it does not become a severe issue, or turn into the point of a mental health disorder. A change is essential to the wellbeing of this generation, and those to come.

In the first place, High School students are faced with an inadequate amount of stress and anxiety, due to a large homework load, on top of everyday worries, as well as social and family occurrences. Recently, beyond stressed out teens have become the norm, and more times than not, this isn’t valued on as high of a platform as it should be. A Huffington Post article claims that “31 percent of teens report feeling overwhelmed as a result of stress and 36 percent report feeling tired or fatigued because of stress.” (American Teens Are Even More Stressed Than Adults, Huffington Post) Anxiety and stress regarding tests and social realms is normal, a part of life, and frankly inevitable. It’s when things get to a point where the student doesn’t know how to manage or cooperate with this anxiety, when a student feels completely overwhelmed. That is when it becomes a problem. Statistics show that with teen stress, in boys, 25% avoided or refused to deal with their stress, while 23% sought ways to distract themselves away from their stress. In girls, 19% avoided or refused to deal with their stress, while 14 % sought ways to distract themselves away from their stress. (Teen Stress Statistics, TeenHelp) A lot of kids don’t know how to manage their stress, and while avoiding it could work for a little bit, the build up of it all has the potential to be even harder for the student to manage.

Moreover, if teens reach that point where anxiety becomes too much to deal with, it can cause almost a “chain reaction”, and lead them down paths of depression and other severe mental health disorders. 30 percent of teens say that they feel sad or depressed as a result of stress. (American Teens Are Even More Stressed Than Adults, Huffington Post) These statistics display the kids have not obtained knowledge of how to keep their stress to a minimum, and for the most part, under control. Studies show that 20% of teens, from the ages 13-18, will have to face a serious mental illness. That’s one in every five kids suffering from a mental health disorder. This interpretation challenges the work of those critics who has long assumed that student anxiety does not in fact lead to further health complications, similar to depression. Although teen stress may only seem of concern to a minute group of people, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about the well being of our future generation.

Throughout the last few years, I have been exposed to many issues relating to mental health. I’ve had friends that’ve had to deal with severe depression, and even undergo stages of self harm. It’s never easy to watch someone you care about bear such an obtuse amount of pain, and with these disorders, it’s quite difficult to help the individual while they are experiencing it. Around two years ago, I met one of my closest friends, who had at the time, been struggling with depression. I had never really been exposed to this kind of sadness in the world, so the realization of it’s existence hit me hard. As I became closer with this individual, and learned more about the reasons behind her depression, I came to almost a “self conclusion” that there was one major thing that it could be narrowed down to. That thing was uncontrolled anxiety. From there, the more and more exposure I gained to these kind of situations, the more I realized that for the majority of them, the underlying cause always seemed to be related to unmanageable stress. As I thought about this, it occurred to me that if kids had the knowledge of how to manage their stress in a way that worked for them, that perhaps, the number of these mental health issues in teens could be negated.

Briefly, I believe one of the biggest issues our country has to face is surrounding mental health, and the mental health of High School students. Teen’s mental health is many times put at risk, due to an overload of anxiety and stress, and the kids with it not knowing how to correctly deal with it. Changes are in order, and the quicker they’re put into play, the better of we all are.

Clarkston Community Schools

Eisele ELA 10 Honors 3rd Hour

3rd Hour

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