5 Reasons Mental Health Should be Taught in Schools
There’s no denying that our kids are living with a lot of stress and anxiety. Over the years, schools in Carmel, Noblesville, and Fishers have seen a significant decline in students’ mental health. According to the National Institute of Health, the number of kids and adolescents dealing with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions is on the rise around the country. For parents and educators, this shouldn’t be a surprise: Look at everything our kids have going on.
Our children are exposed to the depths of social media, video games, and live streaming services that weren’t available just a decade ago. This exposure results in more peer pressure, social anxiety, lack of self-confidence, and even learning and mental disorders. Still, there are solutions, including neurofeedback therapy from Grey Matters of Carmel and providing mental health education in school.
Mental Health in Schools Matters
- Mental Health Disorders Start Early
According to the CDC, nearly 4.4 million children between the ages of 3-17 have diagnosed anxiety, and 1.9 million between the same ages have diagnosed depression. When you throw in ADHD, these numbers increase to 6.1 million children between the age of 2-17. With so many children experiencing mental disorders at such an early age, it’s shocking that less than half of these individuals will get the help they need. When left undiagnosed and untreated, a child’s ability to learn, grow and thrive in school diminishes.
- Suicide is the 2nd Leading Cause of Death
The most recent statistics (2018) have labeled suicide as the second leading cause of death for adolescents, ages 10-24. In fact, more of our students are dying from suicide than they are from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, and influenza combined! These statistics should be alarming, especially for parents and educators. Not only is the mental health of kids on the decline, but their self-inflicted deaths shatter communities and affect their peers, which leads to further impact on the learning environment of schools.
- Increased Societal Pressures from Social Media
Navigating life today is certainly different than it was before cell phones and the internet. With today’s technology, kids are always trying to find ways to fit in. Whether they’re being excluded from group photos, having chat conversations with strangers, or getting bullied online by their peers, today’s kids are relying more and more on their devices. This reliance not only creates a negative world image, but it is also one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety, especially in teens.
- School is a Stressful Place
Our children will spend the majority of their time at school. Here, they will learn how to behave socially, build relationships and friendships, define their ideas and passions, and even self-identity. However, mental health disorders can also become exacerbated during this time, making mental health education crucial. Kids struggling with anxiety, depression, or other learning disorders need to have support and services available to help them navigate their social and educational journeys.
- Students Learn More About Physical Health Instead of Mental Health
There’s no doubt that physical and nutritional education is essential, but so is mental health. In schools, our kids are taught how to stay fit, eat right, and practice safe sex, but very rarely are they taught how to spot the warning signs that they are depressed or how to navigate complicated feelings that can lead them to feel anxious. Instead, our future generations learn how to manage their physical appearance and gain financial wealth rather than how to manage their behavior, be aware of what’s real and what’s not, and how to seek help when they need it.
Mental Health Education is Important
As we can see from the statistics, mental health is something that everyone will struggle with at some point in their lives. This makes it all the more necessary and critical that children learn how to express their feelings, navigate their thoughts, and be prepared to find help. To accomplish this, schools and educators need to portray mental health as a priority, those struggles are nothing to be ashamed of, and it all starts by making it an educational requirement.
Get the Help You or Your Child Need
Here at Grey Matters of Carmel, we understand how difficult life can be and how stressful situations can leave behind feelings of anxiety and depression. While mental health education in school is important, so is getting the right treatment. That’s why we provide a drug-free approach called neurofeedback therapy. By retraining the brain, we can help you create new neural pathways that lead to a healthier, happier brain and a healthier, happier you. Contact us today to learn more!