School psychiatrists stress the importance of mental health

Jamileh Hamadeh and Rachel Tran

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and schools want to spread awareness.
Now that school has started, students are put under great amounts of stress to get that college-ready GPA, which could greatly affect their mental health.

Every September, AHS shows a presentation and gives a small questionnaire to all sophomores about suicide and the signs to look out for.

At the end, the results are submitted to the students’ counselors so that they can reach out to each student who shows any signs of poor mental health or depression.

Suicide is real and needs to be taken seriously because the death toll it has taken is increasing by large numbers.
Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the 2nd leading cause of death in children.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in 2017, 47,173 Americans died by commiting suicide.
Another 1,400,000 Americans attempted suicide.

That little bit of information speaks volumes as to how important this issue has become.“It’s really important to have good self-care behaviors and strategies,” psychologist Laurie Ottehenning said, “Doing healthy activities like sports and reading or writing is important, too. It is crucial to reach out when you feel like your mental health is getting to a place where you feel like you can’t manage it alone.”

AHS offer support to students through two social workers and two psychologists. Their names are Alissa Green, Christina Ferrari, Laurie Ottehenning, and Andrea Chambers. They’ve helped many kids get the help they need to be successful in school and at home. It is crucial to feel safe in the environment that you are in at school.

Surrounding yourself with the right crowd plays a huge role in your mental health. “Take your mind off of things,” junior Laila Lopez said, “Try to find a hobby that you enjoy so that you aren’t always focused on the negative things.”Many schools like AHS offer a plethora of extracurricular activities and sports that all students are welcome to take part in.

Students enjoy participating in clubs and sports with their friends so that they can have something to do in their spare time.Students can make appointments during Pride Time or after school to talk to their counselors and psychologists and receive help when it is needed.

They make sure that they give students a safe and welcoming environment to open up in.
Being that school is where kids spend most of their time, it is vital for everyone to be aware of signs of suicidal ideation, and how to react. In most cases, students that are affected by their mental health are not comfortable going to an adult or their counselor. This leads them to turn to friends.

However, some teens may not know how to react in a way that could ensure the other student is safe.
Counselors advise students to tell an adult so that they can take action and help the student get the support they need.

If you or a loved one is struggling and needs help, please do not be afraid to reach out and get help as soon as possible. The suicide hotline is available 24 hours and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.