Should mental health be a part of the school syllabus?

Should mental health be a part of the school syllabus?

According to the CDC, 7.1 percent of children in the United States have been diagnosed with anxiety. 3.2% have been diagnosed with depression. Relatedly, suicide is now the 3rd highest cause of death in people aged 10-24. The millions of kids who deal with issues that have been culturally stigmatized as “adult-only” problems probably feel lost. Their parents probably don’t know what to do.

Mental health would be a significant addition to a school syllabus to address this issue. If school is intended to prepare kids for life, how can mental health be considered any less than part of that preparation? The answer to how this should be applied in all schools, however, may be a little more complicated.

What kids are being told in school

When kids are young and in school, they receive a lot of conflicting information. They are told never to bully others far more often than how to mentally deal with being bullied. They are constantly bombarded with the idea that tests scores and numbers define their careers for the rest of their lives. However, they are not told how to mentally cope with a bad grade, or deal with the pressure of being defined by a score out of 100.

Physical health is a mandated aspect of schools in the United States, intended to promote self-responsibility and, hopefully, enjoyment of physical activity for a lifetime. In response to how much information and stress modern kids have to process, curricular mental health, in theory, should be used to promote just as much self-responsibility. Kids should enjoy mental activity for a lifetime as well!

But this depends partly on what mental health in a school syllabus ends up looking like.

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The Good and bad of teaching mental health

How everyone defines “mental health” is different. This could create programs that present conflicting information, potentially creating even more distance between kids and a healthy mental state. To use the PE example, do you have a lasting relationship with enjoying physical activity due to your experiences in PE? Maybe you do, but maybe you don’t.

However, the good outweighs the bad when it comes to teaching mental health, so long as it is utilized properly. Talking about mental health can help kids release a lot of stress, promoting healthy relationships with their peers. Training teachers on how to deal sensitively with mental health issues can also go a long way. Mindfulness, relaxation, and art should be included aspects of more curriculums, giving students a break from the stress of social media and test scores.

Additionally, these programs should not forget to address the mental health of teachers as well. Valuing teachers as part of this new curriculum could go a long way to improving the stress level of their classrooms.

Conclusion

Due to how the statistics are stacking up, dealing with mental health in schools is hardly even a question anymore – it’s a necessity. The way it is handled, however, relies on how we teach mindfulness, how open we are to unique mental health situations, and how the programs are implemented.

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10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Mental Health

10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Mental Health

Source: Unsplash @Anthony Tran

Mental health should be literally on everyone’s mind. Yet, it often draws the short straw against the more obvious allures of physical health. During the pandemic, millions of people have become afflicted with worsening mental health. That means these 10 mind-blowing facts are now more than just a curious little thing you clicked on. They’re essential snippets of a changing world!

1. How many people have mental disorders?

Let’s start with the big one. Nearly 52 million Americans suffer from some degree of mental disorder. While not all of these are crippling, they represent the “pandemic” of mental health deficiency that should make the care and keeping of our brains just as important as our bodies.

2. The unknown 60%

Nearly 60% of those millions of people haven’t received any treatment for their mental disorders. This is due to stigmas about seeking help, the individuals’ inability to admit they need it, and a hundred other factors.

3. Why do doctors say, “Do no harm?”

For centuries, doctors believed that mental disorders had religious origins. The physician Hippocrates created the mantra, “Do no harm,” in part to communicate that someone afflicted with a mental illness needed help. It’s the beginning of all psychology!

4.The notion of female “hysteria”

Did you know that as late as the Victorian Era, women suffering from symptoms of menopause, fatigue, post-partum depression, and other female health issues were often classified as “hysterical?” The result of the diagnosis was often institutionalization, in places where they had no recourse and even fewer rights.

Source: Unsplash @fairytailphotography

5. Supplements can help

Let’s get off the negatives of history. Right this minute, you could be missing out on mind-blowing mental health opportunities, such as those presented by folic acid. Found in many leafy greens, citrus, beans, and as a standalone supplement, folic acid can boost symptom relief, especially for women, for anyone on antidepressants.

6. Speaking of herbs …

Did you know that saffron, delicious in its own right, has mental health benefits? Studies have shown that it has effects comparable to prescription medication when it comes to fighting depression in adults.

7. Suicide

Suicide is not a rare occurrence. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, it’s the 2nd leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 34. This is why it’s so important to learn the signs of suicidal thoughts and get help for yourself or others before it’s too late.

8. Learn one lesson from feng shui

Feng shui isn’t for everyone, but it has one big lesson for even the average person: get rid of clutter. Did you know that even if the clutter isn’t in your way, just having it around (whether it’s clothes, papers, plates, etc.) can cause your brain undue stress? Even if you don’t know it, you’re thinking about that mess.

Source: Unsplash @edesignisms

9. Flossing for mental health?

Your dentist tells you to floss, but did you know that a psychiatrist might tell you as well? This is because habits – doing the same thing every day – actually encourage mental well-being. Something as simple as flossing or going to bed at a similar time every day can promote a healthier mind.

10. Trust your gut

Did you know that your gut has its own nervous system? Its neurons control almost our entire immune system. This means that when your gut is out of whack, mental health is soon to tumble down after it. Add probiotics such as those in Greek yogurt and kefir to stay ahead of your mental (gut) health.

The Takeaway

These mental health facts only scratch the surface of how to stay aware of mental health issues in the world and in ourselves. Each month we curate and present subjects and topics that matter to you, in the hope that they can be used to improve wellbeing, both for your mind and your life.

We work with Content Publishers in each of the major areas that impact our readers. Find out more about how you as a content publisher can benefit and grow your audience with curated content. From Lifestyle to Entertainment to Business and Politics, Narrative Matters showcases the content from the top minds and authors in their generation.