Improving Mental Health Resources In Schools

Improving Mental Health Resources In Schools

“Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” -Bob Talbert
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Like most people, my middle school and high school experiences were filled with copious ups-and-downs. While there was fun to be had, more days than not, I found myself feeling stressed, sad, and utterly exhausted. As someone who had to deal with bullying from kindergarten, up until the end of high school, I found it very frustrating that I received little help from administrative figures when I'd report it. There are millions of students out there who are going through the exact same thing every single day. They feel as if the entire weight of the world is crashing down on them and that there's no one to help them bear the weight.

Whether it's bullying, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, troubled home life, or personal expectations, every student faces something that weighs down on their mind. Most schools have some form of counseling or guidance services and they are good resources to have. However, I believe that the most important resource for students are teachers. Day in and day out, our teachers stand in front of us and give their lessons; this is a great opportunity for them to possibly identify or notice changes in behavior and reach out to a student who may be in need.

At home, it is our parents who are responsible for our well-being and protection. At school, due to In Loco Parentis, "Under tort principles of negligence, educators owe students a duty to anticipate foreseeable dangers and to take reasonable steps to protect those students from that danger. To this end, educators owe the same degree of care and supervision to their students that reasonable and prudent parents would employ in the same circumstances for their children." This means that our teachers are responsible for looking out for the our safety and health while we are at school, just as our parents would at home.

I am fully aware that our teachers are only human and have very busy schedules to keep to. That being said, I think our teachers should be trained to identify the basic warning signs of a student having mental health issues. Doing so would make the school a safer environment and it would give students a trusted adult to speak to in times of distress.

Once, in high school, I had to sit in class and try to consul my friend who was having a panic attack. She was crying and shaking and was hyperventilating. The teacher either couldn't tell something was clearly wrong with her student, didn't know what to do, or simply didn't care enough to do anything. In such an event, a teacher should be able to help a student get access to the care he or she needs.

Teachers are on the front lines of our physical protection, so why can't they also be our biggest protectors mentally and emotionally as well?

As a psychology major who aspires to attend graduate school for school psychology, improving the environment and safety in schools is at the front of my mind. As a student who was failed by administration, improvement is something I demand. Our schools are better places when students can be less afraid of what's waiting around the corner for them, and more focused on learning and bettering themselves for their futures.

Cover Image Credit: Senior Airman Tabatha Zarrella

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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5 things bisexual people are So tired of hearing From Cis-Hets

Too many people can't wrap their head around the concept of bisexuality, and it's getting old.

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The Merriam-Webster definition of bisexuality: sexual or romantic attraction to members of both sexes; also: engaging in sexual activity with partners of more than one gender. Yet, this can often be a very confusing concept for certain people to understand. As a result, people who identify openly as bisexual are often subjected to a slew of frustrating questions and statements that have grown tiring. So here is a list of just a handful of them.

1. "So, you're straight now?"

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So, as the definition implies, bisexuals typically like both men and women. So, if you are a bisexual woman, and you are dating a man, no, that does not mean that you are straight now. You are still bisexual, you are just in a relationship with a man at the moment. Please, stop asking this.

2. "So, you're gay now?"

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Okay, so, this is the flip side of the previous question, yes, but it needs to be said because of the frequency of its utterance. If a bisexual man is in a relationship with a man, he is not "gay now". He is still bisexual, again. He is just in a relationship with a man. Regardless of whether or not a bisexual person is in a same-sex or different-sex relationship, they remain, and will always remain bisexual. So, let's just put this question and the former question to rest.

3. "Do you have sex with everyone and anyone?"

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Bisexuality does not equal sexual deviancy. Just because a bisexual person can fall in love with or have a sexual relationship with a person of any gender does not mean that they will have sex with literally any human being who offers. No, they will not have sex with anyone just because they can. That is not how it works.

4. "Will you have a threesome with me and my boyfriend/girlfriend?"

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NO. No, no, no. Just because a bisexual person will have sex with someone of either gender does not mean that they want to have sex with you and your significant other at the same time. Please, stop asking your bisexual friends and acquaintances to jump into bed with you and your boyfriend or girlfriend just to spice things up in the bedroom. It's extremely rude and presumptuous. Bisexual people are not your sexual fantasy or your sexual fantasy come true.

5. "Bisexuals are just selfish/looking for attention."

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People always say that most bisexuals are just pretending to be bisexual for attention and that they aren't genuinely attracted to more than one gender. This is a fallacy. Stop accusing young bisexuals of playing pretend or going through a phase. Bisexuals are valid. They're sick of hearing these erasure comments. It's also constantly implied that bisexuals are just being selfish/greedy. That is not the case, and this belief system needs to be destroyed and done away with immediately. As stated before, bisexuals are not these inherently sexually crazed lunatics. Being attracted to more than one gender does not automatically equate to sex with everyone. Bisexuals are not greedy nymphomaniacs who just want to have as much sex as they can for themselves.

There are numerous other frustrating comments and questions that bisexuals get bombarded with on the daily. This is just a select few that stand out. So, please, if you are someone who says these things, stop. If you have heard someone say these things, or you hear them say any variation of these things in the future, please, correct them. We all need to make a conscious effort to stop this close-minded conversation to continue.

Cover Image Credit:

Naeimasgary

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