The Importance Of Talking About Mental Health In Schools

04/10/2016 16:57
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Mental health is a topic which is extremely important to be aware of. Anyone can suffer from a mental health issue at any point in their lifetime. The taboos and stigma associated with it are slowly decreasing every day, due to campaigning, social media and people working together to help others. However, there is still yet to be compulsory teaching about it, which would allow student to receive detailed information and advice about mental health issues.

I am currently an 18 year old Sixth Form student, meaning that I only left high school education 2 years ago. Whilst at school, I remember barely receiving any information about mental health and advice on what to do if I or someone I knew was struggling. I suffer from anxiety disorders to a large severity. I did not find information and advice through the education system, but from my own research and that only occurred because I became stuck in such a dark place in my mind. One of the reasons for this is that there really were not any lessons about this topic and if they mentioned it, it was only spoken about very briefly.

Additionally, I also know a large number of people who are around my age that struggle to a large extent with their mind and issues; being unable to receive much help or advice in schools.

From what I am aware of, teachers do not really receive training in how to help students who are struggling with mental health issues; which is half the problem. There has been a large increase of young people suffering from mental health issues over the past few years, and many of them have to deal with these illnesses in adulthood too. As a mental health blogger, as well as someone with mental health issues herself, I find it terrifying that there is not that much access to support in schools. It is all well and good going to your GP, but again, many young people just get pushed away and it will make the individuals' feel even worse and hopeless.

I understand funding may be an issue, but surely there is a way around it? These are the future generations we are talking about here. We want them to live happy and fulfilled lives, but that cannot be done unless they are listened to, given support and do not feel isolated. Having specific and detailed lessons about mental health helps to open that door of support for young people, so they do not feel isolated or alone with their minds. I still suffer largely with my mind, as do many of my friends, this may have been made a bit less likely if we had felt that we had support from the education system; especially as school can be extremely stressful at times for adolescents. There are so many experience that young people have to go through to get to that doorway of adulthood and this period is so important, as the experiences that we go through have a life changing effect on how we see ourselves and the world around us. There is still so much to achieve in making the taboos and stigma attached to mental health non-existent. A goal which can only be achieved from steps like making it a large importance in the education system and so forth. Knowledge, empathy and support are all things that are needed to stop stigma and create awareness.

I hope this has been an interesting post to read.

Much love,
Rhi. X

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