A recent article described a poll indicating popular support for the idea that “mental health resources should be among the top priorities for school funding” (“The people want education money spent on counseling, advising,” The Herald Sept. 2).
I couldn’t agree more, and yet I also believe that these individualistic solutions are just bandages for larger problems that will require larger solutions. For example, how can we change the school structure and environment to make it more supportive of mental health and less likely to exacerbate depression and anxiety?
Despite our best intentions, many young people experience school as a place where they are constantly being scrutinized and judged, immersed in a ruthless social pecking order, and given very little control over their learning and lives. These kinds of experiences actually create mental health problems!
As we pour vital resources into increasing mental health support, let’s also consider how to make our schools places where all students experience the belonging, respect, empowerment and joy that mental health requires.
Marysville School District teacher