Most students have a wealth of potential. However, for their active minds to tap into this resource, an environment that fosters optimal mental health and well-being is essential. To create the said environment, we have to first understand why mental health is important for students.
Just like adults in the workforce, these individuals are also exposed to the various stresses of life and the potential mental health challenges they come with.
However, because many of them still don’t have a solid and defined coping mechanism in place, this exposure may stunt the emotional well-being and mental development of students.
Understanding why child mental health matters and the role that school-based mental health services can play in stemming this tide can make all the difference.
Along these lines, here are a few things that you should note.
Understanding the Basics of Mental Health
In the lives of children and students, mental health refers to the state of their psychological, social, and emotional well-being. Mental health defines the frame of mind of a student, influencing how they feel, think, and eventually act.
Because of how pivotal mental and emotional health is, it has to be monitored and protected carefully.
This is because, if a mental health crisis isn’t properly handled, quality of life can be affected and mental illnesses can ensue. Mental health awareness has to be taken seriously by students because they usually have a lot going on in their lives.
From trying to manage peer pressure to submitting assignments on time and ensuring that their academic performance doesn’t drop, the average student’s mental health can be remarkably fragile.
This is evidenced by the fact that there’s a higher rate of psychiatric disorders, risky behavior, dropout rates, persistent nightmare, and suicide rate recorded among students in the country today.
If mental health in schools isn’t taken more seriously, mental disorders among this population may become even more prevalent.
A Comprehensive Guide on Why Mental Health is Important for Students
Helping to prevent the mental health challenges students face is critical because it has a direct impact on the mental and physical health of college students. This includes K-12 students and postgraduate study students as well.
Easy access to the mental health services of a mental health professional can contribute to:
Enhanced Concentration Levels
Concentration is often one of the first areas to suffer the negative impact of mental illness or a mental health crisis. Current students managing depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder usually show a lack of energy and concentration needed to get things done.
The result of this is often that learning new things becomes more daunting than it’d normally be. If left unchecked, this condition will only likely worsen.
However, in an environment where children’s mental health is taken more seriously, there’ll be access to mental health first aid services and resources. This will help inform the psychological and social-emotional learning of the student, giving them the tools they need to get past the challenge.
Improved Social Interactions
Socially and mentally healthy children typically have less trouble interacting with other people and coping with peer influences. As they are less likely to have an external locus of identity, they’re usually more able to have a more enjoyable college experience or post-grad experience.
This is in sharp contrast to what is seen with students who are struggling with mental illness or anxiety disorders and haven’t been able to hit the necessary emotional milestones.
This often plays out with the student displaying aggressive behavior, an unwillingness to engage their peers, and poorer academic performance on the whole.
School-based mental health services can help alleviate this concern and help affected students find their way back to their best selves both socially, emotionally, and academically.
Better Quality Sleep
Poor mental health can also lead to a lack of sleep in students. After all, it’s not that hard to imagine a student who has to deal with bullying behavior or the rigors of daily tasks the next day at school having low-quality sleep.
But when the student can readily consult with a mental health provider, this unpleasant scenario can be easily forestalled. The stressors impairing quality sleep and children’s mental health can be identified and dealt with, helping the student get back on track and stay focused.
Greater Self-Confidence and an Improved Sense of Self
Poor mental health for children and students can lead to them losing their sense of self and all confidence in their abilities. Mental health issues like depression, general anxiety disorder, and loneliness might make completing their projects and assignments seem like a herculean task.
Without professional assistance and proper mental health education, most of these students never rediscover themselves and realize their true potential.
However, when these mental health matters are handled as they should be, the students can become more self-motivated and push themselves to do more. The increased self-confidence and sense of self-worth ensure that they can take on more difficult and stressful tasks without worry.
Reduced Potential for Depressive Episodes
Another reason why mental health is important for students is that it reduces the likelihood of depression. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, depression is a serious problem among young adults.
Child mental health is particularly predisposed to this condition when they find that they have to fit into a new social environment. It can also be triggered when academic pressures pile up.
Where proper mental health care isn’t available, the academic performance of these individuals will start to suffer.
Studies have shown that students struggling with mental disorders like depression usually have lower GPAs than students who aren’t dealing with this issue.
However, timely mental health care can have a positive impact on these individuals over a period of time and help them get their bearings.
Factors That May Trigger Mental Health Challenges in Students
Several variables can spark a mental health concern in students. The most common ones include:
An eating disorder or unhealthy diet can have a negative impact on the mental image that students have of themselves. But, more than impairing students and children’s mental health, it can also cause a host of other serious problems as well.
The most immediate effect of excessive alcohol consumption on students is that it divides their focus and compels them to give in to distractions more readily. It can also lead to memory loss and blackout episodes. Liver and heart disease are also serious possibilities.
But most of all, it can lead to addiction which often serves as the gateway to several other mental health challenges.
Reduced Physical Activity
Not exercising enough can also contribute to mental health issues. When people don’t exercise regularly or at all, mental disorders like general anxiety disorder, depression and stress can set in.
Frequent exercising stimulates the release of endorphins which help you feel good and keep negative emotions at bay.
Having established why mental health is important for students, it’s easy to see why more resources should be invested in making this resource available across all levels of education.
This not only serves as efficient suicide prevention but it creates the perfect platform for social and academic growth.
See here to know more about managing mental health conditions.