Correlation between school and students’ mental health

The immense stress that school can cause for students is a well-researched topic amongst scholars, yet very few schools take it seriously. Luckily, this stigma has been on a rapid decline. Through organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and The Child Mind Institute, Americans are starting to take mental health more seriously. Pennridge High School teacher, Adam Rabuck stated, “kids seem a lot more connected to the world than they were 20 years ago. The stresses of world issues are tough to manage for an adult, let alone a young person.” Educators and parents are both taking into consideration how kids might be affected by academic pressure. The more awareness and understanding surrounding academic stress, how it is evolving, and how students are affected, the better they can be aided.

Mental health can affect many if not all aspects of any person’s life. Their performance may be hindered by low energy, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism. According to research, depression is linked to lower grade point averages, and co-occurring depression and anxiety can exacerbate this link. Dropping out of school has also been connected to depression. Many college students report that mental health difficulties interfere with their studies. In the American College Health Association 2015 survey, 30 percent of college students said stress negatively affected their academic performance, 22 percent said anxiety, 20 percent said sleep difficulties, and 14 percent said depression.

When students suffer from mental health issues, it is not only the individual that is affected. Peers, family members, faculty, and staff may be personally affected out of concern for these students. Depression and anxiety can have harmful effects on relationships and work productivity. Suicide and suicidal thoughts can affect the larger campus community. Roommates, peers, faculty, and staff also experience profound grief over student suicides and suicidal behavior.

Participating in daily activity through exercise or sports can help reduce the effects of stress. Pennridge High School teacher, Daniel Linskey said, “I would recommend exercise for literally anything. That won’t solve the underlying problem but general health and wellbeing would elevate side problems.” Even though exercise and other forms of physical activity will not completely get rid of your anxiety, it is definitely a good outlet and coping technique.