Social studies teacher Angie Keele explains the importance of signs and symbols to her fifth-hour sociology class and discusses how much personal interpretation can affect a person’s mental state and the way he thinks.
Mental health is a serious illness that a lot of teenagers struggle with throughout their high school careers, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, etc. Usually in school some teachers can see when their students are struggling.
“I notice a change in their demeanor, grades dropping and if they’re easily angered,” said sociology and psychology teacher Angie Keele.
Many children give off different signs such as yelling or fighting with family and friends, feeling numb or as if nothing matters or having no or low energy. Mental health warning signs are important to look for.
A lot of the time a person’s genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether or not they have a mental illness.
“I think biology, what social class you’re in, your intelligence and really your social groups have everything to do with it,” said Keele. “There is not anything that can’t affect your mental health, but the important thing is how to deal with it.”
After struggling with mental health, it is important to get better, and in order for that to happen some factors need to play a strong role in the recovery process.
“Eventually it gets better with time. I recommend getting professional help,” said Junior Jackson Hazel.
When teachers notice that a student may be struggling, it is important that they act on it to try to understand what may be an issue. When running into a situation out of their control, most teachers go to district social worker Lindsey Parton.
“I just go and talk to them, and a lot of the time they are just struggling that day; if I have a larger concern I get in contact with the counselors and Lindsey Parton,” said Keele.
Mental health is more than just a disease; it affects everything and everyone around the individual, almost like they don’t have any control over anything.
“Mental health affects my personal well-being, my personal happiness and my connections with my family and peers,” said Hazel.
Mental health can take a toll on relationships with others around the person struggling as they try to figure out how they can help them. For some people that can be frustrating, and they might feel like they are exhausting all their options of people to talk to.
“My mental health has affected me in many ways, but mainly my friendships because when I’m in a bad headspace the first thing I do is distance myself from my friends,” said Hazel.
Throughout the years mental health has grown in importance as people have realized that everyone is a human being with emotions and feelings. It has become more accepted and out in the open.
“Mental health is just as important and has just as much impact, if not more, as a physical illness,” said Keele.
It is important for high school students to be aware of their mental state and to understand that it is okay to reach out for help or someone to talk to. It’s okay to not be okay; asking for help is not something to be ashamed of.
“Everyone wants peace, and if our mental health is right, that’s where we can get it,” said Keele.