Dear Mrs or Mr president,
During the past few years I have noticed that more and more kids that want mental help in my school are not getting it because they don’t want to fall behind. Kids are putting off help so they can stay afloat in the sea of school work. Mental health is not treated as well as it should and needs to be in schools.
School can be stressful in and of itself but it becomes even more stressful when your brain isn’t 100% already. During the school year, ⅕ kids will show symptoms of a mental illness and 80% of those kids won’t seek out help in any form. “ In a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse...” expresses NPR’s Meg Anderson in her article ‘Mental Health in Schools: A hidden crisis affecting millions of students’ about the topic. Without the help students need, it can be difficult to perform basic tasks within school. It’s already hard to do some of the school work given, and some kids have to do it while their brain swirls around thousands of other things or they just can’t motivate themselves to do it at all.
“Whether treated or not, the children do go to school. And the problems they face can tie into major problems found in schools: chronic absence, low achievement, disruptive behavior and dropping out,” Meg Anderson from NPR added once more. Kids are afraid to get help. They think they’ll be made fun of or fall behind. We need to assure them that mental help comes before anything else.
There needs to be a program in schools that helps students catch up on the lost days due to having to go to the hospital or extensive therapy. A student that takes a mental leave to get better could fall right back into the same spot from all of the work load they missed. A solution to that would be figuring out how to give those students their work and teaching them from their location. Most of the reason students don’t reach out for help is because they don’t want to fall behind in the work flow and there is a simple solution to that.
I have a plan that could fix all of these problems. If a student has to reach out for mental help they should be given information on how they can get their school work while in extensive therapy or the hospital. Specialized computers could be set up with google hangouts, facetime, or skype and placed in each of the rooms, so, the student could use his/her/their device to hear and see the lesson. Along with that, before going the student could receive the work they will need to complete before return. The student could also work with the staff while in the hospital to help with homework or anything they need. To complete the help, in schools, teachers should stress that mental illness does not make you crazy. Just to take off that last ounce of worry on how his/her/their peers will view them.
If this plan was put into action students would no longer have to worry about getting the help they need. We would have many more happy and healthy teens among us and in our schools.
Once more Mrs or Mr president, I hope you seriously take this into consideration. Thank you so much for taking your time to read this. Mental health needs to be looked at differently. It’s not a choice and we should do everything we can to abolish it within schools.
West Saint Paul, MN