Although not everyone knows this, mental illnesses are among the most pressing issues in the world today. Mental health challenges can take a variety of forms. Addiction, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia – they are all there. And, despite the form, coping with mental issues is never easy.
What Does This Mean?
Statistics reveal that more than 40% of American adults experience different mental health issues at least once in their life. These stats are frightening. To complicate matters, we all know that some mental issues are not clearly visible, which makes addressing them hard. The high percentage of adults suffering from mental illnesses stress the importance of educating children on mental health awareness in schools.
Why Implement Mental Health Awareness in Schools?
1. Children Face Mental Health Issues TOO!
Unfortunately, mental illnesses are not as rare among children as we may think. According to research data, about one in seven people experience mental health issues at some point in their childhood. Another fact to keep in mind is that about 50% to 70% of disorders tend to germinate before a person even turns 18.
All these data highlight how mental issues among children are real. You can imagine how such issues can affect a child’s development. A sense of self-worth, academic performance, confidence, social skills – these and many other areas of our lives can be disrupted by mental issues, which may have a long-lasting negative impact on the rest of the life.
2. Rise In Depression
Another big reason why mental health awareness is important to have in schools is due to the high percentage of teen suicides. According to reports, the number of teen suicides is increasing at an alarming pace. Currently, teenagers are the biggest age group in the risk of suicidal behaviour. These facts prove that our children are currently in danger and this is another reason to educate them on mental health, showing support, and teaching them to manage their stresses.
The rise in depression among students is another reason to spread awareness about mental health in schools. The World Health Organization predicts that depression has the potential to become one of the most significant burdens in the future. The experts from the WHO state that over 260 million people from different age groups and from all around the globe suffer from depression either in mild or severe forms. Specialists claim it is the main cause of disability worldwide.
3. Importance Of Mental Health Awareness In Adults
In terms of spreading mental health awareness in educational facilities, it would be wrong to focus on children solely. In fact, mental health issues are just as common in adults as they are in younger generations. Despite the common belief, many adults also suffer from it and need help. Undiagnosed and untreated issues in children can harm their ability to grow, develop, and learn.
Though older individuals, such as school staff, also experience similar issues with sorrowful consequences. Similar to their pupils, some teachers may need support and help, which yet again emphasizes the importance of mental health awareness in schools! By helping children understand the importance of mental health awareness, we are also equipping teachers caught in a bad mental situation with necessary information and tools.
4. Prevalence Of Technology & Social Media
Another big reason is the overall situation we can observe in schools and societies across the world. The prevalence of technology and social media in our lives, fast-paced development, constantly growing demands, and lots of stresses – all these things contribute to the development of mental health problems among children.
What Are Some Solutions?
What possible solutions are there? Although the issue is real, solving it is easier than it seems. There is more than one solution that can come in handy.
1. A Positive Home Environment
First of all, it is vital for parents to recognize that every child’s mental health starts forming at home. The environment you create in your house has a huge impact on kids’ wellbeing. Therefore, the first solution to make a change should also come from home. Parents should be able to prevent, recognize, and address possible issues properly.
2. Promote & Implement Mental Health Facilities
Secondly, educational facilities where children spend most of their time can put extra effort into increasing mental health awareness among their students. Special classes, lectures, presentations, and projects all have the potential to make a change. School authorities should implement mental health education at all levels of children’s education.
3. Support Groups
Finally, one more solution that will come in handy is the implementation of support groups. These should be available to everyone in every community. Support groups are meant to bring together people who’ve gone through (or are going through at this moment) the same issues, show them they are not alone in their struggles and provide them with the support they need to overcome their challenges.
The Bottom Line
Mental health issues probably have the largest impact on children under 18. Unlike adults, they are still forming their personalities and self-images, which is why they are vulnerable to stresses more than anyone else.
It is also worth mentioning that the signs of different mental issues may not be as clearly visible in children. This just makes things worse as teachers and parents are not able to recognize problems at an early stage.
The best way to prevent issues is to educate children about the risks at an early age. Unlike adults, kids are still much more vulnerable to mental illnesses, which means those can have a much more destructive effect on them. This is the main reason why we really need to implement mental health awareness in schools.