Mental illnesses in America have increased, especially in teens. One in three adolescents experiences an anxiety disorder, and teen depression rates have been rapidly increasing. Approximately twenty percent of people will go through depression before they reach adulthood, and over seventy percent of teens with depression do not get help. In the US, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers. According to one study, four out of five teenagers who attempt suicide show clear warning signs, but are those signs shown at Cleveland High?
The majority of students at Cleveland agree that teens at our school have mental health issues, but those issues are not discussed. Students who struggle with mental illnesses think it would be beneficial if there was a therapist at the school or a safe place to talk about their feelings. “A therapist at the school would help, or a club to help with depression or anxiety,” one student said. Another student said, “Maybe even just a designated person to talk to about your stresses and anxiety.” Most students struggling with a mental illness do not seek help if there is not a clear program that offers help. Emily Robinson said, “I think they should have support groups. Places where kids can go and talk to other kids experiencing the same thing or staff who have experience in that subject.” Some students at Cleveland do not know how to get help or do not realize they need help.
Although students do not realize it, there are counselors who can help. Cleveland High counselor, Mrs. Amanda Pardue said, “We do referrals, so we can’t really diagnose, but we can connect students and their families with someone who can.” The counselors at our school are not therapists, but they can help students find one. “There are outside agencies in the community that we can refer students to,” Cleveland High counselor, Ms. Melanie Gillis said. “There are no programs in place here. We do have a table out in front that we put different business cards and information for outside sources.”
Most students go to the counselors for help with college applications and schedules instead of mental health reasons. “I think they may not know about the community resources, or they may be afraid to ask about them,” said Ms. Gillis. A lot of students do not know that the counselors can help with mental illnesses by connecting students with a therapist who can help. Mrs. Pardue said, “a lot of how we can help is by connecting to different resources, and I don’t think students know about that.” The counselors are here to help, and they can offer help to students who come to them with any problems they have.
Overall mental health is not represented much at Cleveland, but students still deal with illnesses. The counselors at our school are open to help anyone who needs it. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illnesses, you can get help by letting a teacher or a counselor know. More information about mental illness can be found here: https://www.mhanational.org/