The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

Mental Health Education requires awareness

Suhail Rahimi

Over the past few years, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in mental health awareness, especially at school. In years prior to lockdown, there was a seemingly large stigma around advocating for one’s mental health. Now, while there is a noticeably smaller stigma surrounding the topic, there are still walls that need to be broken down.

“After COVID, people were experiencing anxiety, depression, and isolation, and people realized they’re not the only ones— which makes it easier to break the stigma. People are more open to talking about it,” Student Services Specialist Rosalinda Koch said.

A part of mental health that is always around, especially in the life of a high school student, is stress. Stress consistently and continuously eats away at students. Whether a student is trying to balance academics and a sport, or has a hefty workload, there is always an abundance of stress.

On last year’s Mending Matters poll, 60% of students said they need support with stress and anxiety, and 62% of students said they want to learn more about stress management. Many students (42%) also said they feel too distressed or tired to even reach out for support.

“I think the number of people experiencing mental health crises are higher, which is a negative, but I think awareness of mental health and the stigma around it has improved greatly,” counselor Karly Wardwell said.

Prioritizing one’s mental health is a relatively new ideology that people are taking seriously. Both Wardwell and Koch compared mental health and physical health, stating that mental health is just as, if not more important than physical health.

On the back of every student ID card are three phone numbers to call and text, one of them being the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, in which students can call or text 988 with their needs and concerns. Another hotline students are encouraged to use in times of need is the Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741).

One of the biggest takeaways about the topic and conversation about mental health as a whole is that it is imperative that one comes forth to talk to a trusted individual such as a teacher, counselor or family member. In Ted Lasso, Keeley Jones says “Problems, they’re like mushrooms. The longer you leave them in the dark, the bigger they get.” This is true about mental health.

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