I strongly believe that mental illness and health should be more of a thing in schools. I only remember having one vague lesson in high school on depression and panic attacks with a teacher who clearly did not know what she was doing (we watched videos during that lesson)
I also have a memory of the teacher asking who has ever had a panic attack or knows anyone who has. I raised my hand and my “friend” at the time told me to put my hand down because “everyone will think you’re a freak” which I responded to with “Pretty much everyone knows anyway”
I was referring to my first ever panic attack, I had to give a presentation in English class and I was getting so worked up about it that when I got to the front of the class, after a while I started hyperventilating and shaking very hard. I was being bullied at the time which is why I was so anxious, I didn’t want to do anything that would get me made fun of but ironically, worrying about bullying made me have a panic attack in front of the WHOLE CLASS which made the bullying worse.
This is why I think we should have more time in schools to be educated on mental health problems so those that clearly have them will less likely be seen as freaks or being weak and vulnerable. These are my ideas on how mental health can be brought into schools;
- Anxiety Aid– Teaching young people how to help someone who is having a panic attack should be taught like first aid and hopefully students will see that mental health problems are just as important as physical health problems.
- Mental health speakers– Instead of getting the school’s teachers who the students are bored of hearing, a speaker who has had a mental health problem should give talks so there is a new, more educated voice for the students to listen to.
- Stress management workshops– Stress is the main cause of mental health problems and teenagers have a lot of it, so to be taught how to manage anxiety and stress would be a blessing which I wish I had when I was in high school.
- MHAW celebrations– schools should hold events for Mental Health Awareness Week or day like it was children in need or red nose day to get students participating in Mental health matters and to get them talking about it.
Those are just my ideas but if you have any of your own you can talk about them on your own blogs or in the comments for this post. Thank you for reading 🙂 NI2M