BSM students need more mental health focused classes

Students+struggle+with+mental+health+as+homework+piles+up+throughout+the+year.

Nathan Marusich

Students struggle with mental health as homework piles up throughout the year.

Over the last several years, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in mental health related issues among teens and young adults. Currently, one in eight people suffer from some form of mental disorder. According to the CDC in 2021, more than a third of high school students reported poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year.

Because of mental health issues and the large role of education in fostering student growth, BSM ought to implement mental health focused classes.This is essential for allowing students to grow and learn important skills that can help them manage anxiety, depression, stress, and provide them with the necessary resources to maintain good mental health throughout their life.

The curriculum in these courses should include topics that help students manage time and stress, offer students techniques to help deal with anxiety and depression, and give students tools and resources that they can use to seek help and guidance to deal with any issues that they might be experiencing. Classes that encompass all aspects of mental health should be available in addition to specific, more focused mental health classes, allowing students with options that they can pursue based on what fits best for them.

Although mental health related topics are covered within the health class that freshmen are required to take, this one semester course barely touches on the subject and does not allow for the focused, in-depth curriculum that would be beneficial to all students. These courses could be added in many forms such as an option for their wellness credit or elective. Because BSM has already begun to expand wellness options, adding mental health focused classes would be consistent with current trends and provide more specific options to use this credit. While I do not think mental health classes should be required, I believe that it should be an available option that students can use as a resource if they choose to do so.

Everyone experiences hardships in some form during, and as a youth, I personally believe that investing in opportunities to improve mental health in any form will positively benefit our society and our futures. Although there are so many pieces that must be put together in order to help improve our mental health crisis that we are experiencing, providing instruction and information within our BSM community is the first way that we can help improve the lives of teens like myself and allow for the best chances of success in our futures.