Mental health resources essential to student welfare

From kindergarten to college, students of all ages experience different levels and forms of stress. Whether academic or social, experiencing stress can negatively affect students’ grades, and providing effective mental health services such as counseling in schools will help students perform better in class. With the stressors of the pandemic, student isolation has caused more mental health-related issues than in the past. It is crucial for schools to provide the mental health resources students need in order to be successful in school.

Mental health resources have been proven to be extremely beneficial when they are provided to students. According to the government website Youth, mentally healthy students are more likely to pay attention in school and have better communication skills, leading to a more positive academic experience.

School resources meant to help maintain students’ well-being are essential to creating healthy learning conditions.

Having good mental health improves social skills and increases the ability to create meaningful connections. Being able to develop friendships helps to improve one’s mental health, because if someone has a problem or is feeling upset, they have the opportunity to discuss it with a peer.

Although communication and problem solving seem like skills that would be taught at a young age, continuing to develop these skills in high school and college with the help of mental health resources is important. According to Youth, only 33% of schools use staff as mental health advisers, and only 25% hire professional help. These numbers are far too low considering the benefits of having mental health resources.

Many schools moved to online learning in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. Rates of depression and anxiety increased significantly as a result of isolation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide attempts among students jumped 31% in 2020. The anxiety and depression that caused these attempts did not disappear after the return to in-person school.

Therefore, it is important for schools to have mental health resources available to students to make the transition back to the classroom as smooth as possible.

While services that help improve mental health can be expensive, it is important to remember how much they can positively impact a student’s life and education. According to CNBC, $225 billion was spent in the United States on mental health services in 2019. Despite the high cost, spending money on these services is crucial to provide students with support.

In addition, with pandemic-related stressors, it is essential for schools to not dismiss the increase of mental health-related problems in students of all ages. Resources should be established from elementary school all the way into college in order to maintain students’ mental health.