The student news site of Minneapolis Washburn High School

The Grist

Mental Health is Health

Mental+health+symbol+conceptual+design+isolated+on+white+background
Mental health symbol conceptual design isolated on white background

Mental health symbol conceptual design isolated on white background

Mental health symbol conceptual design isolated on white background

Elena Kahn, Author

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The current health curriculum at Washburn High School lacks a very important topic that needs to change. Millions of Americans will personally have a mental health problem in their lifetime. Especially in recent years, it is found that more and more teenagers are experiencing mental health problems than ever before.

Now, mental health isn’t completely ignored in the health curriculum. It is briefly talked about in the first unit of Health 1, Personal Health and Wellness. This unit is meant to be covered in 3-4 weeks, mental health being only one of five topics covered in this unit. That means that less than one week is spent talking about mental health. Okay, so maybe this one week is really informative, right? Wrong.

Students are shown a powerpoint that mostly talks about what a mentally healthy person is like and not at all about how to help yourself or someone else that has a mental health issue. This powerpoint doesn’t even last more than a few days, the rest of the time for mental health is spent watching a movie that is based on the true story of a man who has paranoid schizophrenia, a very serious mental health problem. This movie takes about three whole days of class time with barely any time afterwards to talk about it. In addition to that, the movie gives the idea that paranoid schizophrenia is something that can simply be ignored if you have a strong enough will power, which is a untrue of most diagnosed with said mental health disorder.

Though something I’d like to commend the school on, is the school clinic, which not only offers physical medical care, but also offers free mental health services! This is awesome, but sadly, I don’t see this amazing resource being advertised to the students very often.

In the U.S.A. and around the world, there is a stigma against mental health. With the words we use, like “crazy,” “spazz,” “wacko,” and “psycho,” we put down those that have mental health conditions

The times we hear the most about mental health in the news? Mass shootings perpetuate the stigma that mental health and violence go hand-in-hand, when in reality the majority of mentally ill people are not violent and the majority of shooters are not mentally ill. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, “Fewer than 5% of the 120,000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness.” Many people that could benefit from talking to a mental health professional are too afraid to be thought of as crazy to help themselves. They would rather have internal conflicts than be labeled as having a mental health problem.

But it’s our health, it’s normal to go see a doctor when your body is sick, right? Our brain and mind are parts of our body and its health needs equal attention, if not more.

So how do we break the stigma against mental health? Teach and inform youth. Tell our students that it is okay to have anxiety or depression or bipolar disorder. Tell them how to help their friends that they may see struggling. Tell them it’s okay to ask for help. Tell them that not all illnesses can be seen.

“Knowledge is power” may be a cheesy statement, but it’s so true and students need this knowledge. The Health syllabus states the course is: “designed to enable students to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to make healthy and informed decisions for a lifetime,” but is it really doing this if we aren’t being informed about something that over 43.8 million adults in the USA have?

I say no.

 

Souces:

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2014/12/mental-illness-wrong-scapegoat-shootings/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGY6DqB1HX8

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Mental Health is Health

    Showcase

    Girls Soccer – Game Day

  • Mental Health is Health

    OPINION

    Pride or Prejudice?

  • Mental Health is Health

    NEWS

    Cancer Moonshot

  • Mental Health is Health

    OPINION

    Where Are Our Textbooks?

  • Mental Health is Health

    NEWS

    Taking a Knee

  • Mental Health is Health

    OPINION

    Banned Books in Schools

  • Mental Health is Health

    Showcase

    The Reason for The Twin’s Bad Luck

  • Mental Health is Health

    NEWS

    Last-Minute Campaigning

  • Mental Health is Health

    Showcase

    The Unexpected Dangers of Wrestling

  • Mental Health is Health

    Showcase

    APPLY FOR THE GRIST

The student news site of Minneapolis Washburn High School
Mental Health is Health