Schools Focusing on Harmful Online Posts Instead of Mental Health in Ohio?

Schools need to prioritize and enhance support for students’ mental health

In the United States, mental health issues continue to be a growing concern among young people. According to recent studies, more than 42% of students between the ages of 12 and 18 struggle with persistently sad or hopeless feelings, while nearly 29% have experienced poor mental health. Despite these statistics, schools often focus on addressing harmful social media posts and students who pose a threat to themselves or others rather than those who silently battle with mental health issues.

In Ohio, for example, students are required to watch a Sandy Hook “See Something, Say Something” video every semester in order to learn how to address concerning posts online. However, these videos do not provide guidance for students who are silently struggling with mental health. This is particularly concerning because many young people feel stigmatized about seeking help for their mental health issues.

If schools truly care about their students’ well-being, they should take steps to improve the support and resources available to those who are struggling silently with mental health issues. One potential way to do this is by starting school at a later time. Research shows that many teens do not get enough sleep, especially as they get older and have busy schedules filled with sports, jobs, and heavy homework loads. By starting school later in the morning, students can get more rest and improve their overall mental health.

By prioritizing the needs of all students – including those who struggle silently with mental health issues – schools can create a more supportive and inclusive environment for their students. Aubrianna Spears from Jackson Township emphasizes the importance of addressing this issue head-on: “It’s crucial that we prioritize our students’ mental health in the school setting,” she says. “By creating an environment where all students feel supported and valued, we can help them thrive both academically and personally.”

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