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.

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Stop Saying You're a Broke College Student

I've had a job since 16, and my money life is thriving.

It's supposed to be funny when someone says "I'm a broke college student" but I think it's stupid. Here's my unpopular opinion.

I've had a job since I was 16. My first day of work was the first weekend after I started my sophomore year of high school. It wasn't too difficult- I was literally only working on Saturdays and Sundays. The shifts were 4-7:30/8 pm on Saturdays and 11-2:30 on Sundays. I wasn't making a huge amount of money, but it paid for my gas money, and that was all I needed. So the first year I had my job, I was spending any extra money I had on food, movie tickets, and clothes.

Then reality hit when I knew I needed to start saving up for college. I started putting money into my savings account, and eventually I had built up enough money to buy a new old car. I know, it wasn't college tuition, but I needed it.

My first year living in the dorms, I figured out a system. I was putting $150 each week in a savings envelope, and each month I knew I had to pay $160 for my car payment. The rest of the money I made I put in envelopes for a new purse, clothes, vacation. I had a system going, and I didn't spend extra money on useless things unless I was rewarding myself. In case you can't do the math, that's at least $600 in my savings account each month, and most people can't figure out how to put away $100.

Now, as a sophomore in college, I watch people trickle into class with to-go food, to-go coffee, smoothies, and candy from gas stations or the shops on campus. Then I hear those same people complain about being "a broke college student." I'm sorry, but you're not a broke college student. You're a college student who pays for things you don't need, with money you have that you shouldn't be spending. You don't need to get Starbucks 3 times a day. You don't have to go to pitcher night at the local bar. You don't need to spend money on those things, but you do. And at the end of the month, you're broke, and begging your parents for money.

So, in my unpopular opinion, you're not a broke college student. You're a dumb one. Make a budget, give yourself some spending money, and stick to it. You'll thank me later.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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11 Tips For a Great Semester

The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.

1. Have a nice workspace/desk

I recently made this change and I feel 100% better.

2. Dress well

Personally, if I go to class looking like a bum, I feel like a bum. Dress for success!

3. Go to bed at the same time every night

Getting enough rest can really impact the rest of your day. Aim to get 7-9 solid hours of sleep each night this semester to avoid accidentally being grouchy at someone.

4. What am I doing for this upcoming week?

What are my goals this week? What’s going on this week? What do I need to work on for this week? If you go into your week blind, it never really works. I’ve done this before.


5. Don’t lose your class syllabi

This one paper has literally all of the due dates, test dates, readings and homework assignments on it. Make sure you always know where this paper is because you will be looking at it constantly, so don’t lose it.


6. Ask questions

If you’re in class and you have no idea what the professor is talking about ask, or email them! It’s good to ask questions because then your professor knows you care about their class so it’s a win-win situation. You ask questions plus the professor knows you care equals good grade in the class.


7. Take good notes

I can’t tell you how many times over the past semester I would look back at my notes and what I wrote didn’t make sense. Learn what type of learner you are to figure out how to take the best notes for yourself. I either write everything out by hand which takes forever (especially when the professor flies through the lecture) or I print out the notes and just write on those papers so I can actually listen to the lecture.


8. Get some homework done in between classes

In my schedule, I have a lot of time gaps in between classes just waiting around for my next class to start. Take advantage of this 30 minutes or 2-hour gap and work on some homework. You’ll thank yourself later.


9. Don't overload yourself

I’ve made a rule with myself to only do homework Monday to Friday. That’s because if I work super hard during the week on my work then I can have the weekends off as a mental break. There are a couple exceptions to my rule like if I have a 5-page essay due Monday then yes, I’ll work on it during the weekend or if I have tests coming up the next week then I’ll be studying.


10. Don't procrastinate

If you’re avoiding something, just get it done and over with. If you have a really difficult essay to write and then a bunch of easier assignments; start with the hard assignment first to get it done. It’ll take the most time and then you’ll feel relieved when you’re done with it.


11. Don't give up

The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.

Just keep going.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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