Mental well-being is an important issue that is often undervalued among students. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, students with mental health disorders experience higher levels of absenteeism, lower grades, and increased rates of suicide. Hence, it is important to make sure that we understand the complexity of this overlooked rising form of illness, have access to mental health resources, and provide our students with the best possible solutions, and thereby make a better and sustainable future for our community.
The leading cause – Paradox of Connectivity in this era
The lockdown during the COVID pandemic saw some people honing their skills and creativity and so rising to stardom on social media while for the majority that time was spent being stressed and isolated. The pandemic worsened the mental health problems that existed in our nation. Even though the corona virus isn’t completely wiped out, people are coming out to lead a normal life, hoping for a better future, but it seems like it is just the tip of the iceberg with social media obsessions, cyber bullying, online gaming, substance abuse engulfing more lives than ever. The most affected are children and adolescents. The world seems more connected than ever but evermore isolated than ever.
Students are subject to comply with peer pressure and societal norms which are unavoidable. Increased pressure from society and family and the constant need to appear flawless in social media overpower their defense and reasoning abilities and subsequently they succumb to isolation, depression, anxiety attacks, social media addictions, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse.
The Problem with Instant Relief
Gen Z is facing some of the most powerful enemies ever – depression and anxiety. To tackle the problem many look for instantaneous relief factors like binge watching TV or drug and alcohol abuse or skipping food, forceful vomiting. But the problem doesn’t go away with this instant solution. It comes back again and it continues into lifelong addictions which eventually kills the victim.
Prioritize Mental Health
Children with untreated depression or poor self esteem or anorexia or bulimia or any mental health disorder show worsening of symptoms with age. Treatment becomes harder as long as the untreated disorder persists. So the problem never goes away on its own. India has the leading cause of suicide deaths of youngsters. Many lives have been robbed of their prime years by severe mental health who showed warning signs but were overlooked by others. Its high time we prioritize mental health for students. Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable to mental health attacks. By not ignoring the signs, we can save a valuable life.
Mood Pitfalls to Watch Out for
Sad mood, sleeplessness, increased fatigue and weakness, feelings of guilt and decreased concentration or decreased interest in pleasurable activities, recurrent suicidal thoughts or self-harm for a period of 2 weeks. Watch out for these signs and it would be the right time to seek professional help in the wake of it.
You can Overcome!
In this digital era, the foremost knowledge a student must know if they are grappling with depression or anxiety is that they are not alone in this fight. Help is at hand if you reach out for it and schools must provide such an environment conducive for well being. Countless numbers of people have overcome the destructive thoughts. It all starts and ends with understanding your worth, appreciating and accepting who you are. Schools must emphasise on mental health and stress busters for students. Students should be taught to make mental health a priority and a curriculum must be set up to enable students to inculcate habits to improve mental health. Avenues must be created for students to reach out to a counsellor at any hour of need.
Habits to Improve Mental Health
1. Practice self-compassion, self-care and gratitude
You deserve more compassion than you think. Show kindness to yourself and appreciate all the little steps you take to be a better human being.
Taking good care of your body is vital to your mental health as well. Have good food, drink lots of water and be nourished. Physical strength and cleanliness sure does make a great difference. Be thankful for every good and bad experiences because it teaches you what to be and what not to be. Be thankful for all the good things you enjoy in life, your family and friends. Be humble and kind.
2. Build a support system
Help others going through tough times. It would enable you to help yourselves while also uplifting others. Show empathy for others.
3. Learn to say no
Have the courage to say no when you are uncomfortable. Your comfort and opinion matters.
4. Outdoor activities
Create time for exercising and outdoor activities. Nothing is more refreshing for the mind than admiring greenery and is sure to lift your spirits.
5. Study, activities, and sleep balance
Create a balance in your study, recreational activities and sleep so that you never miss out on the most important rest your brain needs to breathe. Practice relaxation and meditation techniques.
6. Seek professional help
Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if you find that the other options are not working. Don’t give into stigma surrounding depression and be a silent sufferer. It is important to get help for mental health like you would for physical health.
7. Set goals that are realistic
Never plan that which is impossible to attain. Be aware of your limitations and accept who you are. Deal with difficult situations that are inevitable in healthy ways. Believe in your strengths. You are sure to attain great heights if you look within yourself and not others.
8. Ask for help
Never be ashamed to ask for help because everyone struggles, and you are never alone in this fight. Make the habits to improve mental health a priority and you will realize a huge burden being lifted off from your shoulders. Help others and lets together build a strong haven for students everywhere!
We hope that this article helped you understand one of the leading issues among the youngsters of this generation and help the parents to be more sensitive towards their kids for a better tomorrow. One of the recommended counseling services to seek for professional help is “Mitr”. They are a team of experts who provides assistance to individuals’ mental and emotional wellness. The details can be found out in the following link: https://www.mymitr.org/. Comment below if you would like us to reach out to you!