My inquiry question this semester is:
What impact does school have on its students’ mental health?
I chose this question because I am interested in finding the benefits or drawbacks of school in relation to students’ mental health. To answer this question, I will first need to research what the different impacts of school are. These can of course be positive or negative. When I researched the effects of school on students, I found a number of different opinions. Some people think that schools play an important part in identifying and treating mental health disorders in students. Others think that mental health issues can be caused by school and are under diagnosed. Let’s take a closer look at these different opinions.
Some say that schools can reduce mental health stigma. (1) Presentations and information sessions that offer help to students may help reduce the stigma surrounding struggles with mental health. One in five school aged children experience mental health problems. (2) Anonymous help lines posted around schools give students a way to ask for help. By utilizing these kinds of tools, (5) schools can create safe and supportive environments (1) that help students cope. (1)
Mental health is a growing concern for youth today. One in five school aged children experience mental health problems and more than 80% of those youth do not get the treatment that they need. This can be a result of not enough social workers and counsellors in schools. (4) It can then cause problems at home and cause students to skip school as a result of their mental health. (7) Teachers and counsellors need to be more involved in their students’ mental health. (4) Some say that if their teachers had asked them what was wrong, they would have told them. (4) Social workers and counsellors can be helpful for screening and identifying different mental health disorders in youth. They can then refer them to the treatment that they need. The most common issue currently seems to be anxiety disorders. (2) Teachers and counsellors can help identify them in their students and work to get them the help that they need. Public health can also work with schools to implement more ways to help struggling students. (5)
Kids are experiencing academic pressure from an earlier age. (3) As a result, academic stress can lead to an increased likelihood of students developing anxiety and depression. (3) Mental health challenges can also cause typically high achieving students to struggle. (7) They can also cause performance issues in school. (7) Mental health issues can affect academic performance which in turn can cause academic stress. (6) This is not uncommon or difficult to diagnose. (6) Anxiety caused by school can be potentially reduced by online schooling. (6)
For my next round of research I plan on learning more about what specifically about school impacts students’ mental health. This will include what helps students and what does not. By researching this I will learn more about the relationship between school and mental health.