Throughout the years, an increasing emphasis has been placed on the seriousness of mental health and the importance of emotional support. Since 1949, organizations such as Mental Health America have dedicated the month of May to spreading mental health awareness. During these 31 days, organizations post on social media to stress the importance of mental stability, as well as send tool kits out to aid people emotionally.
Dealing with COVID has brought a new significance to the topics discussed during this month. Countless quarantines and adjusting to limited social interactions have taken a toll on many people. According to a survey done by the U.S. Census Bureau, feelings of anxiety or depression rose from 11% in 2019 to 42% in December 2020. With the rising cases, many mental health organizations have pushed to reduce the stigma around mental illnesses, in the hopes that people will be more willing to accept the help and support those around them that are struggling.
Students at Hebrew Academy have many thoughts about mental health in general, and how it applies to their academic careers.
“A lot of students have anxiety or get very anxious over school as well as other things,” said Daniela Schindler (10th), “It is really relevant because if we are aware, people could be nicer to one another and if we keep in mind that people are going through things we can be more sensitive to one another.”
School psychologist Dr. London, also commented on the value of having an entire month dedicated to taking care of one's mental health, specifically teenagers.
“Mental health awareness month is a wonderful opportunity to remind our students that mental health is just as important to a student's well-being as their physical health. Adolescence is a time of great change in a young person's life where one can experience great highs and deep lows. Teens are facing more life stressors than ever before, especially in the wake of a global pandemic. Not to mention, smartphones and social media platforms have created an entirely new world of emotional strains and pressures for teens that we have never encountered before as a society. I want to remind all of our students that I am an available resource if they are in need of emotional support or if they are concerned about a friend.”
Mental health awareness month is a great time to focus on the importance of mental wellbeing and to seek out any help that is needed.
By: Sara Reinberg (10th)