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

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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12 Realities Of A Nursing Student

​​​Why being a nursing student is the best and worst decision you will ever make.

I am a nursing student. This is synonymous with lifeless, stressed, exhausted, compassionate, smart and a plethora of other words. If you are or were ever a nursing student (in which we can't blame you for switching majors, the struggle is real), you will completely understand these 12 reasons why being a nursing student is insanely painful and extremely rewarding at the same time. If you're debating becoming a nurse, then this might serve as a helpful list of pros and cons.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing Is Different Than Any Other Major

1. Free time is nonexistent.

There is always a test, quiz, care plan or clinical that is demanding all of your attention, all the time. Say goodbye to friends, say goodbye to fun and say goodbye to your sanity.

2. Your schedule is insane.

You need to pencil in time in between studying for multiple exams, going to class and clinical hours in order to sleep or eat. When a non-nursing major complains about their 8 a.m. class, you just roll your eyes because you've been up since 5 a.m. and probably won't go to sleep until at least 2 in the morning.

3. You feel extremely stupid.

You perpetually feel unprepared for tests and you're disappointed that your grades won't be perfect any longer. You feel straight-up confused all the time. That 4.0 you had in high school? Yeah, that's not possible in nursing school, boo.

4. You also feel insanely intelligent.

When you spew out healthcare jargon and your non-nursing friends have no idea what you're talking about, you feel pretty damn cool. Plus, you now understand what the heck is going on in "Grey's Anatomy," so you're basically Derek Shepherd IRL.

5. Your teachers are disorganized and make classes practically impossible to pass.

Most of them grade harshly and make your life a living hell. And they usually don't have any sort of education degree or experience. Solid.

6. The two or three teachers you actually like already are, or will be, your friends.

The ones that help you get through the torture that is nursing school are keepers. They'll probably write you letters of recommendation or go out for drinks with you once you're no longer their student.

7. You have to pay to work.

You pay tuition for clinical hours, which essentially means you pay to work. Sure, the experience is invaluable, but that's a lot of time and effort to do for free.

8. Your nursing friends will be your friends for life.

There is a special bond between nursing students friends. You've studied together, you've laughed together, you've cried together, you've drank together. No one can understand the pain and glory that is nursing school like your fellow nursing students. And you know you couldn't have done it without them. No nurse left behind.

9. You see some really cool cases.

Some of the patient cases you see at clinical are nothing short of amazing. Knowing that you helped with an interesting and complex case leaves you with an invaluable experience and greater confidence in your knowledge and skills.

10. You will also see some really gross cases.

There are some images you just can't un-see (or un-smell) no matter how hard you try. I won't go into details, but nurses see some really icky stuff on a daily basis.

11. You will learn useless information.

Just like every other major, you have to take stupid classes that won't ever help you in life. I know for a fact I will never use the knowledge I gained from Healthcare Economics or Computer Skills for Health Sciences ever in life as an RN.

12. When you do have "free time," you kill it.

No one can party like a nursing student. No one. You drink so you can save lives.

No matter how hellish nursing school can be, you'd never change it. You know that being a nurse is what you're meant to do. No other job can handle your crazy, your feels, or your brains. You've been trained for this. Keep trucking through this bitch of an undergrad degree, we are all in this together. Now go out there, it's a beautiful day to save lives.

Cover Image Credit: Katy Hastings

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10 Thoughts You, An Education Major, Have In The Shower

And various things to worry about.


Being an education major, I think about a lot of things whether it comes to assignments and other things. But the shower is where I do a lot of my thinking. Most of the time I think about school and things that associate with my major. So here are 10 things that in the past I have thought about when in the shower that pertains to my major.

1. Did I finish that paper?

2. I wonder if I did that assignment for assistive technology class...

3. Okay, why is it funny I remember the answer key for that one quiz I graded?

4. Why do I have to learn APA? What's the point?

5. Who created the APA format? Did they have the idea of making students suffer?

6. What do some of the students do for after school extracurriculars?

7. I should start that project soon...

8. Okay, Erikson and the psychosocial theory...

9. I should get out of the shower soon. I'm getting pruney.

10. Maybe in the future, I'll come up with lesson plans in the shower...

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