Why Mental Health Education in Schools is So Important
We are no strangers to mental health issues but there is somehow still a stigma around mental health issues. There seem to be so many misconceptions that come with mental health. Unfortunately, many adolescents deal with mental health issues and don’t get the help they need due to these misconceptions and stigmas. Due to this Julio Avael and his team of behavioral health professionals have dedicated themselves to helping educators offer resources to help educate students on mental health.
Julio Avael III says that mental health issues usually tend to come up during early adolescent years while kids are in school which is why he believes it is important to take mental health issues seriously and educated their students. Kids, and teens are going through so many changes and dealing with so many different things such as peer pressure, comparison, stress of grades, family, friends, and hobbies and so much more. Students can feel lost and overwhelmed and feel as though their problems are insignificant especially when no one is directly speaking to them about mental health. They have no real understanding of mental health issues and that others could be dealing with the same things or that it is completely normal to deal with these things. Mental health is not taken as seriously as it should be. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one in five children in the U.S. currently have, or at some stage have had, a debilitating mental illness. Those numbers are very telling and shows just how real mental health issues are.
Mental health issues have become very prevalent, and depression in specific has become a huge issue and Julio Avael says that it is on the rise. Early childhood and adolescent mental health issues are very common which is why it is a huge concern that there is no education offered on these very prevalent and important issues. Julio Avael says that many times these issues go untreated causing much more harm than good. It is important to educate our children on understanding mental health issues and help validate what it is they are feeling. Many times, children feel alone in what they are feeling and without treating their mental health issues correctly it could result in long term issues or even suicide.
Julio Avael believes that changing the stigma and misconceptions that come with mental health issues begin in our schools. Schools need to prioritize mental health education and offer guidance to their students who are feeling this way. It should not be pushed to the side or taken less seriously than any other illness. In these early years and in school is where children begin to identify themselves and find their own way. Many times, children experience bullying in schools which could also cause severe mental health issues. Avael says that by educating students and teaching them that their behavior has consequences and the way they treat others could severely affect them so being a nice person and treating people with kindness is important. Although bullying could be a factor in someone’s mental health issues there are so many other factors that could affect a child’s mental health especially in these times. Now a days due to COVID-19 children are spending a lot of time at home which in itself can cause mental health issues but also scrolling through social media all day comparing themselves to others is also a huge factor.
Overall, Avael says that it is important to tackle these issues head on and tackle them sooner rather than later. Let’s stop the stigma around mental health issues and start taking it as serious as it is. Our mental health affects everything and can cause us to change our everyday patterns which is why being educated on mental health is important. If you see your student, family member or friend going through a drastic character change in a short period of time you could possibly help identify a mental health issue before it gets worse and help the person get the help they need. Being informed and educated about mental health is beneficial for everyone and can help stop the misinformation, misconceptions and stigmas surrounding mental health.