Are schools taking the issue of mental disorders too lightly?

By Chloe Oh

Are You Ok

Are students being ignored or exaggerated of their personal sufferings in schools? What are schools doing about this matter or mental disorders?

I have multiple close friends who deal with depression and anxiety. One of them, told me about his depression a couple years back. Unfortunately, his depression got worse over time. We decided to tell the counselors, despite the possible irreversible consequences. However, when he came out of his meeting with the counselor, he wasn’t mad at all. Subsequently, he thanked us. Turns out, he was worried he’d be called overemotional, melodramatic, or an attention seeker. Turns out, regardless of who you are, a branching hand is never unwanted.

They need someone to reach out to them. They need someone to pull them out of their misery. They need someone to ask, “Are you ok?”

The number of students with mental disorders are crucially increasing more than ever.

According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) on NBC news, 1 in 5, in terms of America, 15 million children ages of 3 through 17, have an identifiable mental disorder and of those children, 80%, about 12 million children, don’t receive any treatment. Not only is that an immense number of children at risk, the number of children having mental disorders are continuously increasing by the year. As stated by Education Week on Gale, “Between 2005 and 2017, the proportion of teens 12-17 who reported the symptoms of a major depressive episode within the last year rose from 8.7 percent to 13.2 percent, the data showed.”

The issue of mental disorders is getting more and more serious by the year, yet schools haven’t progressed in reducing those numbers in any way. Teachers may say students feel too pressured if the teachers themself try to talk to them, but that’s just another irrational excuse. The reality is all students need attention, the more given, the better.

Eventually, they will open up, because they all want to, deep inside.

Teachers and counselors need to continuously encourage them, have patience and take it one by one slowly.  Thus, schools must initiate new plans to help students feel free to open up and overcome social stigmas and the stereotype of people with mental disorders.

A possible resolution is to have talks about mental disorders, without stereotyping or using stigmas of any sort, if possible, every semester. Once a year may seem as too much of a gap since many students come and go as semesters end. A person who is comfortable talking about their own personal experiences of their mental disorder could be more effective and much more inspiring for the students, rather than just a presentational speaker stating the different causes and symptoms of mental disorders. With a more personal story, students will be able to comprehend the grave importance of this issue as well as the significance of respecting and being considerate of those who do struggle with mental disorders. As for the students going through those struggles, they would open up to fellow classmates, teachers, or counselors idealistically. That way, they will find hope that they can indeed get better, and hope is crucial in keeping a person be motivated to do anything.

So the question is, are schools now going to be willing to improve this issue and take matters into their own hands? That can only be determined by how significant schools take the issue of mental disorders, which currently, needs to be taken much more seriously.


Works Cited

  1. Blad, Evie. “Schools Grapple With Student Depression as Data Show Problem Worsening; New study finds uptick in mental-health incidents only in younger generations.” Education Week, 20 Mar. 2019, p. 1. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.
  2. Kolac, Meg. “Are You Ok?” Meg Kolac, Squarespace,
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Mental Health: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 May 2017, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.
  4. Snow, Katy, and Cynthia McFadden. “Generation at Risk: America’s Youngest Facing Mental Health Crisis.” NBCNews, NBCUniversal News Group, 12 Dec. 2017, Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.