Did you know, every one in five children in the U.S. currently has, or at some stage had, a debilitating mental illness? This brings us to a point where giving a thought to the mental health awareness become a crucial facet in a student’s life. As per the statement by the American Psychiatric Association, ’50 % of mental illness begins by the age of 14. ‘The number amaze us since a student at such a tender age starts developing signs of depression that haunts them inside-out. The depleting mental health is the sign of the increasing pressure and isolation that desserts the students into a no man’s land. Especially, during these times of global pandemic when the world is in quarantine, many students suffer from mental illness that affects their behavioral pattern, turning them psychotic. This guide is to bring into fore the importance of mental health in a student’s life and how it leads ta the holistic development of his psyche.
Read about another significant cause of anxiety in students and how to prevent it:-
What is Mental Health Awareness?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Mental health is “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to her or his community.”
On average, the students spend more of their time in schools than being at home. So, it becomes the duty of the frontline educators of the school to look after the mental health of the students by taking up the mental health awareness programs every week. As per the National Alliance on Mental Illness, despite the average age of the early signs of mental illness is 14 years, most of them remain without assistance until attaining adulthood.
What makes the matter worse is that out of 60% of the students who suffer from some sort of mental illness, don’t graduate and fail in obtaining their degree. However, it’ better late than never; early intervention can cause more positive outcomes in the students’ mental state. But, how to make out what the student is going through mentally? There are some signs and symptoms as given by the American Psychiatric Association, that can help in determining the mental health of an individual.
Further reading for tips to maintain good mental health:-
Signs and Symptoms for Mental Health Disorders
The need for early mental health awareness can be made evident with the help of following signs and symptoms that drag a person into the shades of grey, with no hope to live life. A student loses the confidence to perform better and find desolation in day-to-day school activities.
- Dramatic sleep or appetite changes or a decline in personal care
- Rapid shits in the emotional and depressed feelings
- Social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities
- Drop in the functioning at school, work, or in extra-curricular activities
- Lack of concentration in studies and loss of desire to participate
- Depression, anxiety, fear of missing out, and strong nervous feeling
- The odd and peculiar behavior
Importance of Mental Health Awareness
If the student shows any of the signs mentioned above and symptoms, then the authorities must call for immediate action. But, instead of waiting for a rainy day, early intervention can minimize the effects of deployed mental health. To combat the harmful consequences, some preventive measures can be taken. One such mission to prevent the rising numbers of mental cases includes The Overall Mission of New York’s School Mental Health (SMH) Program. The main purpose of the program is to promote healthy social-emotional learning and behavioral development of the students.
Further reading:- What is Social-Emotional Learning | Things to Know About
The SMH program substantiates the emotional health and academic growth of the students under the following provisions.
- Integration of the comprehensive services and support at every grade level
- Assessment of mental health needs via universal, selective, and targeted interventions
- Provision of accessing the behavioral and mental health services and program
- Building collaborative relationships between the school and the student’s relation
What Can We Do At Individual Level?
To get involved in understanding the importance of mental health and spread the word, there are some measures that you can adopt.
- Create an awareness of the importance of good mental health among your classmates and help them feel that they’re not alone in this.
- Volunteer in organizing Mental Health Awareness Programs in your schools and educate students about the impact of mental health and prevention.
- Have open conversations among each other, wherein you can discuss your experiences and encourage them to come up with their issues.
Since the world is in quarantine, and many students are going through delayed plans and disruption in their studies, mental illness is complementary to it. You can take the initiative of setting up a social screening, wherein the students open up about their issues without revealing their identity. Moreso, with the help of virtual assistance as well, mental health awareness can get beneficial to them in all terms. So, taking all these initiatives can bring in change and save precious lives from getting diffused in misty places of loneliness. Don’t let mental illness become deadlier than global pandemic like COVID-19. As there is a way to destroy the virus, there is a will to fight against mental illness as well. This International Yoga Day, make mental health your top-priority and adopt the best ways to lead a stress-free life.
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