Going away to college – it’s a rite of passage for many and a time of huge personal growth and change. But for young adults dealing with mental health problems, it represents a whole new set of challenges.
When people bring up the subject of public schools, the most often discussed topics revolve around academic standardization, teacher accountability and high stakes testing. But one lesser-examined theme is the state of our public school counselors. More pointedly, are we allowing our public school counselors enough time and resources to do everything that the Texas Education Code calls them to do? For those that aren’t familiar, The Texas Education Code states that: A school counselor’s role is to “fully develop students academic, career, personal and social abilities to serve all students.” That’s a hefty job description, even if you’re talking about a self-declared superhero with only a couple of students under their charge. But as those of us who send our children to public schools know, it’s never just a couple of students.
Topics: Back to school
A group of high school students in Maryland is urging its local Board of Education to include mental health education in a required health education course, to include topics such as depression and suicide.
In Minnesota, young organizers are bringing together walkers, runners and skateboarders to promote more awareness around youth struggling with mental health issues.
And, right here in San Antonio, Clarity Child Guidance Center is offering a series of Community Conversations on Children’s Mental Health, which is bringing parents and schools together to address the issue.
Across the country, communities are responding to a mental health crises among our youth. We live in a time when one in five children in the United States have a mental illness, though many go undiagnosed. One in two lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. And suicide is the second leading cause of death in children.
These statistics tell a sobering story.
That is why now, with the start of a new school year, it’s important to talk openly about what support is in place for children who may be experiencing mental illness during the school year.
Topics: Back to school