Unheard Voices: The Disconnect Between Schools’ Response to Mental Health Issues and Addressing Concerns about Online Posts

Schools need to prioritize and enhance support for students’ mental health

In the United States, one in five teens aged 12 to 18 struggle with mental health issues. Despite this, schools often prioritize addressing harmful social media posts and students who pose a threat to themselves or others over those who silently battle with mental health problems. This is particularly concerning when you consider that more than 42% of students feel persistently sad or hopeless and nearly 29% of students and adults have experienced poor mental health.

In Ohio, students are required to watch a Sandy Hook “See Something, Say Something” video every semester to learn how to address concerning posts online. However, these videos do not provide guidance for students who are silently struggling with mental health issues. It is time for schools to take action by improving the support and resources available to students who are dealing with these issues.

One potential solution is starting school at a later time. Research shows that many teens do not get enough sleep, especially as they get older and have additional responsibilities such as sports, jobs, and heavy homework loads. By starting school later in the morning, students can get more rest and improve their overall mental health.

Aubrianna Spears from Jackson Township emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the mental health of all students in the school setting. By focusing on the needs of all students, including those who are silently struggling with mental health issues, schools can create a more supportive and inclusive environment for their students. It is time for schools to take action by providing more resources and support to their students’ mental health needs.

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