Mental health spreads at AHS
Fairfax county public schools have partnered up with Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board Wellness and Health Department to provide the students with Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). At AHS we offer two social workers and two psychiatrists. Their names are Christina Ferrari, Alissa Green, Laurie Ottehenning, and Andrea Chambers. They provide an environment where students open up and release their stresses.
Since 1949, the month of May has been Mental Health Awareness Month. Many organizations all throughout the United States have used Mental Health Awareness Month to promote awareness and recognize psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and many more.
Mental health is the level of psychological welfare in someone’s mind. There are many things that can happen that can cause your emotional health to change in ways that can be positive or negative. These changes can lead to severe feelings such as sadness, anxiety and stress.
Most psychological illnesses begin around age 14 and can continue through a person’s whole life span which is why high school students typically endure the most amount of stress because of things like pressure to get good grade and exams.
Many students spend several hours doing things like homework and studying. Unfortunately, this can leave them very little time to take a mental break and relax.
Aside from school work, students have to put their mind to other extra-curricular activities as well as work.
“Sometimes it can be really stressful balancing my out of school activities and school,” sophomore, Lara Dib said.
There are many studies that show that if a student undergoes a setback in their academic achievement, their normal stress level rises causing a change in their day to day behavior.
Although there is usually more negative stress rather than positive stress in a teenagers life there are many times when a high school student can be affected positively.
This type of stress is called eustress. Upcoming sports games, school events, and parties can be some examples of when a high school student feels eustress.
Many people today do not obtain enough treatment for their mental health disorder. Some will not even recognize that it is there.
In some cases, people do not get treatment because they are unable to do so, but in other cases, they may be afraid of judgment or could be scared to open up.
According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th cause of death in the United States for adults. For the youth, it is the third. and one of the leading causes of disabilities in the world is depression.
It is extremely important that people, not only high school students, know when it’s time to take a break to de-stress and know how to reach out for help.
There are several steps you can take to receive help for psychological illnesses.
One of which is to speak to a healthcare professional or a therapist. They can help you by setting a comfortable and safe space for you to open up and release your thoughts.
Many high schools around Fairfax County have a school psychologist that you can visit at any time if you are unable to do so outside of school.
They are qualified to support students with mental health disorders and can also be a support system. Be sure to use any resource that you have.
The suicide hotline is available 24 hours and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.