Mental Health, a Huge Concern in Schools Today

Mental health is a huge concern for people born in Generation Z.  All over the world depression is a leading mental illness, and suicide is the leading cause of death for 15-19-year-olds. Some cities in the country have recognized that one way to impact this rate is through their schools. Washington D.C. is one such city and is leading the way.

An article written by U.S. News and World Report says that many students at DC’s McKinley Tech High School fell into a deep depression due to social and academic pressures. They are not alone. Many students enter into high school struggling with mental illness or hardships and school intensifies it.  Closer to home, students at Whitney Young are often familiar with these issues. “School has always been hard for me but managing stress makes it more of a battle,” says Gracie Silverstein ‘20.

The majority of schools in the United States are underfunded when it comes to mental health making students feel alone and at a loss. Locally, this is a huge problem. “Chicago public schools only have one social worker or maybe even none,” says Nyla Williams ‘23. 

If a student doesn’t have support, depression is what a student might come across in the future. At  McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Barbra Barzon, director of the Department of Behavioral Health, says that students need resources and it is the responsibility of the school to have this access. The new system has placed clinicians from 11  different community groups. Out of 119 schools in district 76 have the program implemented. D.C is the first city to start heading in the right direction for mental health and I hope that other cities take note as well. Chicagoans hope their city emulates what is happening in our nation’s capital. “I think it’s great that other school districts are trying to improve their mental health processes and Chicago should soon do the same,” says Kimmy Smith ‘21. As a high school junior who is very familiar with the pressures of academia, I am very hopeful that other cities and countries will follow Washington due to its positive impact on students.

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Mental Health, a Huge Concern in Schools Today