It’s Time for a Comprehensive Mental Health Plan For Students

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Students’ mental health is an incredibly complex problem. It’s not something kids ever think about or get overly worked up about, but it does impact them on a day-to-day basis. For younger students, it can be especially difficult due to the added pressure of having to present well in school. Presenting well is one thing, but essentially being able to manage your anxiety and depression is another. The mental health of students has been a hot topic on many social media sites over the past few years now. Many people are looking to provide additional help or resources for students who may be struggling with their mental health. Now, the pandemic has made the situation more complicated than ever and it is time for schools to step up.

“We are at an inflection point. We know for a fact that one of the primary drivers of absenteeism in schools is mental illness. And we know that high absenteeism leads to poorer outcomes,” declared Ian Lang, chief executive officer of the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health.

This represents a good sign, as it shows that schools are acknowledging the problem. Students’ mental health in a pandemic has become an extremely important health issue this year, with many students reporting mental exhaustion and disturbed sleep due to stress and/or anxiety over the upcoming weeks. Is this something that can be prevented or mitigated? What can be done to make sure students are feeling better and have enough resources to study?

What we do know is that many schools are still struggling with how best to handle the immediate crisis and provide their students with an adequate education. Many schools have opened mental health programs, and many students report feeling better after going to see a doctor or seeking treatment for stress or anxiety. Students, like everyone else, are vulnerable during a time of crisis. It is important for them to have access to resources that can help them throughout this difficult time and that they are aware of the importance of it. Knowing where you stand personally with regards to mental health can be powerful, as it can affect how you interact with others and your ability to function during and after a pandemic.

Susan Kowal
Susan Kowal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor/advisor, and health enthusiast.