Mental health takes center stage as students return to school

Maya Brisan, Staff Writer

As students return to school, there are so many things to be stressed and anxious about. The crowded hallways, intense IB classes and chaotic lunches are all things that will stress a student out. Everyone may feel a little off during this unique school year; that is unavoidable. However, students can try different things to help reduce stress. (No, I’m not going to  recommend sleeping or eating healthy.) 

First, here are some statistics about mental health in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • 9.4 percent of children (2-17) have gotten an ADHD diagnosis
  • 7.1 percent of children (3-17) have a diagnosed anxiety disorder
  • 3.2 percent of children (3-17) are diagnosed with depression

It is also incredibly common for these conditions to occur together in a child. Treatment rates for these conditions vary depending on state and availability of treatment. According to the CDC:

  • 8 in 10 children with depression receive treatment
  • 6 in 10 children with anxiety disorders get treatment
  • 5 in 10 children with behavioral disorders receive treatment

According to the Association for Children’s Mental Health:

  • 40% of students with some mental illness graduate high school
  • Over 50 percent of students ages 14 and up with a mental illness drop out of high school

Here are some tips for handling your mental health from your fellow students:

  • Spend time with your pet if you have one: hug them, cuddle with them, pet them, talk to them.
  • Listen to music: either play songs from your favorite artist or listen to your favorite songs on repeat. Alternatively, listen to depressing music or heavy metal to get you in your feels.
  • Try to get off social media: clear your mind of the feelings that it gives you.
  • Go outside: go for a walk or bike ride, or just sit outside in the sun and enjoy nature.
  • Talk to your friends: rant to someone you trust, or just surround yourself with the people that make you feel comfortable with yourself.
  • Cook or bake: make your favorite dish or dessert, and then eat it. Make sure to share some to spread the love.
  • Take care of yourself: put on a face mask, take a shower or enjoy a hot cup of tea.
  • Journal: design a calendar for the next month, or write out some thoughts.
  • Rest: lie down in bed, and just stare at the ceiling. Lying on the floor is also very therapeutic.
  • Create something: make some scribble or blob art where you just put a pen to paper and move the pencil.
  • Watch T.V./movies: binge-watch comfort shows and movies.
  • Crochet: make a hat or scarf or little animal for a friend.
  • Drive: if you can legally drive, go for a spin around your neighborhood, or go get something to eat or drink before going back home.
  • Exercise: work out. Lift some weights. Do something to get your heart rate up.
  • Video games: play your favorite video game to get some stress out and yell at a screen instead of getting upset at yourself.
  • Legos: play around with Legos if you have them. Try to build something from your mind or build a new set.
  • Shopping: go out and buy yourself something small and fun. Treat yourself to boba or lunch.

Remember that the people around you care for you, and there are always people willing to help you with whatever you need.