Declining Mental Health in Students
What do you feel when you think about your life five years down the road? Ten years? Fifteen years? Do you have a clear picture about where you will live, your job, and other daily functions? Maybe you don’t have a clear picture, just an vague idea or dream. Maybe you get a sinking feeling in your stomach or a pounding heart whenever you are asked.
Today’s teens have so much pressure to know where they want to go to college, what they want to study, and what job they want after school. But in reality, we don’t know. We are trying to figure out who we are now; we don’t have much time to think about who we will be.
With the growing pressure on each new class, mental health problems are a very real obstacle for many students. Every person deals with stress and emotions differently. Some students understand and can manage these feelings while others are left drowning in a dark depth of the unknown. According to the Association of Children’s Mental Health, one in every ten students have a mental illness that significantly impact their school, home, or social lives.
Our generation is just now breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health. And while this is an amazing opportunity to raise awareness, this enlightenment is coming too late to help many. ACME reports that almost eighty percent of students don’t get the care that they need.
Without proper care and coping mechanisms, students will struggle in many aspects of academic achievements. This can carry on into application for colleges, college life, and the working place.
For example, mental health can demolish a person’s self confidence. There are two paths that this can lead a person down. The first is over working a problem or trying to overachieve. These students never learned when to stop studying or stop revising. To them, their work will never be good enough. They will continue to work on it and put their own health second. This is unacceptable. Your health, both mental and physical, should always come first.
The other side of the spectrum is settlement. A person will always chose goals and jobs that they know they can easily accomplish. They will stay away from living up to a challenge and their full potential. These people believe that their dreams will always be unachievable, and they will forfeit them.
A common concept in psychology is William James’s concept of Achievement Motivation. Motivation is the driving force that leads a person to satisfying their psychological and physiological needs. Achievement Motivation is the idea that person is motivated by the feeling of completing a task.This motivation has a much darker side. It can condition people to only accept success of completing a task and dreading failure.
Achievement Motivation can lead people to choosing simpler goals rather than greater goals that could lead to a greater reward. These rewards include intrinsic satisfaction, the internal and personal gratification you get after completing a task, reaching your dreams, and succeeding in a difficult challenge. These rewards help to boost confidence, and without them, a person’s mental health might not change.
The lack of care for mental health starting at a young age can lead to many issues. Failing to recognize the symptoms of mental illnesses can lead to the progression and worsening of a person’s condition. If young students aren’t taught coping mechanisms, it can lead to much more dangerous paths that simply failing to reach their dreams.
School that install mental health services can help reduce the risk of student suicide due to depression by over twenty-five percent. Understanding and accepting those with a mental illness can make the world of difference to them. With the decrease in ignorance, we can not only better but also save lives.