Back to School: Mental health awareness

Schools looking to further help students suffering from mental health issues.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 4:09 PM MDT
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MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Association for Children’s Mental Health (ACMH) estimated that 1 in 5 children in classrooms all across the United States today have a diagnosable emotional, behavioral or mental health disorder.

These issues are especially important to monitor among teens, many of whom wrestle with issues like fitting in and getting good grades.

“Teenagers are at a really challenging stage in life. They’re really impulsive and often they can’t see beyond the issue that is right at hand,” Minico High School Counselor Nikki Sayer said.

“So it’s imperative that we really prioritize mental health, and they can learn those skills to manage them so that it doesn’t snowball into something really big.”

Minico High School has a couple of different options when it comes to helping their students with mental health struggles. First the counselors at the school have an open-door policy much like other schools in the area.

The second option gives students the opportunity to help one another in a class called the Hope Squad.

“It is a class period during the day where they learn about warning signs of depression, suicide and learn a few basics skills to question and persuade someone to get the help they need,” Sayer said.

With school counselor and fellow student support, it gives those who may need the help a couple of options.

The goal of these initiatives is not to “cure” someone’s mental health issues. However, getting them to a point where they feel these issues are manageable is something that most people strive to reach. And remember, it is okay to not be okay.