Mental health impacts students’ academics



Many factors attribute to the decline of mental health in teenagers.

There are many issues that teenagers have to face. Getting homework done, buying a prom ticket, and studying for SATs and PSATs. All these revolve around school. However, there’s another incredibly important problem that should be addressed, one which can impact students throughout the year: mental health.

According to Adolescent Wellness Academy, 50% of lifetime cases of mental illness begin at 14 years of age. This is a significant reason as to why we have counseling in schools to help students who are struggling. But during the summer, when these resources are out of reach, someone has to help these students who can’t help themselves.

Not everyone can afford a therapist of their own. And if you’re looking for a psychologist or psychiatrist it’s even harder. Adaptive Medical Partners wrote a compelling article: Why There is a Psychiatrist Shortage — and What to Do About It by Adaptive Medical Partners.

“An insufficient number of psychiatrists causes problems for the U.S. healthcare system,” they said. “Not only is it frustrating for patients, but it is also potentially harmful to them and their loved ones, as well as putting other health care workers at risk.” 

Even as it becomes more difficult to receive care from these professionals, Southern Lehigh High School counselor Christina Piascik says it’s important to remember that counselors aren’t going anywhere. 

“School counselors do work in the summer, so students can always call the counseling office and we do meet with students over the summer,” she said. “And if someone is in a true emergency, they can call ‘988,’ which is the suicide and crisis lifeline (like 911).”

There are times when summer can worsen the struggles that students face. Of course, school, in itself, is stressful and overwhelming for many. But everyone is different, and the break will impact everyone differently. 

“I notice I feel worse despite summer being commercialized as a ‘fun season,’” freshman Katherine Monroe said. “I notice my mental health is always better in the spring and the fall, where it’s the perfect balance of weather for me.” 

This is why it’s so important to remember that you aren’t alone. For these people, it is likely that change gets them in over their heads. But the counselors will always be there when they’re needed. And there are always resources out there, designed to lift those who feel hopeless.

Even just knowing that there are resources available is the first step to feeling better. No one has to fight alone.