The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

Mental health month opens conversations

To make teenagers and adults comfortable to discuss mental health issues, May’s Mental Health Awareness designation aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health.
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Michelle Noga
A ‘pawsome’ addition…After welcoming therapy dog Wheeler into the high school, Superintendent Frank Gallagher and guidance counselor Nicole Trout enjoy Wheeler’s company.
To promote discussions of mental health, May is designated as Mental Health Month and aims to educate those on mental health matters.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, more than one in every five U.S. adults live with a mental illness, and one in every five U.S. children ages 13-18 have or had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
Social studies teacher Amanda DiFranco said she thinks some of the factors that play into mental health and mental illness are growing each year.
“We have so many stressors that teens today are dealing with that teens in the past never had to deal with. It’s social media. You always have to be on,” DiFranco said. “It’s like you always have an audience and sometimes things that would have in the past been left at school are now coming home with you because of social media. Having that constant access to each other, I think that puts a lot of pressure on our teens today.”
Guidance counselor Daniel Glatts also believes social media can negatively affect teens’ mental health.
“There’s definitely some positive things, but it’s so easy to be negative. It’s easy to say hurtful things. You hear and see more hurtful things than positive things,” Glatts said. “I think social media has a very large role in stinging your self esteem, your self worth, your mental health just by a lot of negativity.”
Considering that mental health can affect anyone regardless of age or gender, it is a growing concern for many to make sure that people are educated on this issue.
English teacher Blair Harper addresses the importance of having open discussions surrounding mental health and being able to help others struggling with theirs.
“It helps people to know or realize that it’s not just them who are experiencing any type of mental health struggles, that it’s pretty prevalent. The more you talk about it, you realize it’s not just you,” Harper said.
Looking out for the best interest of students struggling with mental health, the high school now has a therapy dog, named Wheeler, who is meant to cheer up students’ days. He will be shared with Oak Ridge Elementary School, as well.
“I think that whoever is in charge of doing all this could think that it could only be good for younger kids, but I think it has the same effect no matter what your age is, so I think it’s great. I love that they’re doing that,” Harper said.
Although some people may have resources available to them, not everyone reaches out for it.
9th grade assistant principal Michelle Noga describes how it “takes a lot to be brave saying you need help.”
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Alexis Riveria, Staff Writer

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