School makes good move towards mental health awareness

By Gisselle Washington | Big Stick Editor |

In the United States, half of all mental disorders begin at age 14 and 75 percent by age 24. A staggering 41 percent of people with a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services (according to High school is an important stage in the development of teenagers. The majority of teenagers at one point in their high school tenure experience pressure from social media, college, or peers that can fuel depression, anxiety, or both. With the progression of time and how much society has become more interconnected with the internet, awareness of mental health has grown. The issue of the youth suffering from mental disorders can’t be ignored. Through support services in high schools and resources to connect with health professionals can improve the learning environment.

On Nov. 13, 2019, Roosevelt hosted a special screening of the documentary “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety” with the University Health System. It was followed by an informative panel led by Jennifer Northway, Director, Adult & Pediatric Injury Prevention University Health System with special guests Geoff Gentry – Clarity Guidance Center, Ellen Wunder – Laurel Ridge Treatment Center, and Verna Liser – National Alliance on Mental Illness. As an attendant of the event, I was very impressed with the resources presented that were readily available to students that attend the school. They provided information on psychologists who can provide testing for disorders and counseling services. The Angst film itself was fantastic. It gave an inside look at how anxiety develops and manifests itself in today’s youth and how parents and the community can be supportive of students. Parents can get their children diagnosed through a health professional and help them seek services for developing coping mechanisms. The community can raise awareness to help educate parents and students who may suffer from these mental problems. 

I really appreciate schools such as Roosevelt bringing awareness to mental disorders that may be swept under the carpet or are difficult for students to ask help for. An initiative to help students deal with mental disorders or pressure will not only strengthen relationships in the community but also promote a healthy body for a healthy mind.