The mental health aspect
Did you know that an average, schoolgoing, teenagers anxiety levels are higher than a 1950s psychiatric patient’s? These anxiety levels can be caused by countless things in our lives but many of them are either school caused or school related. Welcome to Education Enlightenment where today we will be talking about the effect of school on students mental health.
Much of Generation Z has reported to higher levels of anxiety and depression than all other age groups (Source one). Lots of this anxiety and depression is generally caused by stress to hold up adults expectations, bullying, poor parenting, social media, bodily changes/ decisions and peer/social expectations (Sources two/three). As you can see, almost all of these causes can be linked back to the school system in one way or another. Lots of peer and parental expectations are held on the premises of schools such as getting good grades, being “normal”, as well as a majority of bullying happens at school or online by peers. According to Kathleen Smith, “Teens report that during the school year they have an average stress level of 5.8 on a 10-point scale, compared with a level of 4.6 during the summer.” This is a problem that should be talked more about in our society.
To make this less of a problem, parents, teachers, and friends can all check up on each other some of the time. Schools could consider enforcing less homework and standardized tests (I will talk about these next post), make sure students feel comfortable speaking with a teacher or school counselor about their struggles with school and at home, and they can make extra resources readily available.
As someone who both has much stress over school and has many friends who feel similarly I can tell you that knowing I have teachers that will extend due dates when I feel I dont have the time or that I know I can talk to has helped so much.
Divecha, Diana. “Redirecting You.” Medium, medium.com/r/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.developmentalscience.com%2Fblog%2F2019%2F5%2F7%2Four-teens-are-more-stressed-than-ever#:~:text=American%20Psychological%20Association%20%282018%29%20The%20American%20Psychological%20Association,anxiety%20and%20depression%20than%20all%20other%20age%20groups.
McCarthy, Claire. “Anxiety in Teens Is Rising: What’s Going On?” HealthyChildren.org, www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/Pages/Anxiety-Disorders.aspx.
Abraham, Micah. “Find Out About the Causes of Teenage Anxiety.” Calm Clinic — Information about Anxiety, Stress and Panic, 10 Oct. 2020, www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/teenage-anxiety-causes.
Article by: Smith Kathleen Smith, Kathleen. “6 Common Triggers of Teen Stress.” Psycom.net — Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1996, 24 Nov. 2020, www.psycom.net/common-triggers-teen-stress/#:~:text=Teens%20report%20that%20during%20the%20school%20year%20they,CDC%E2%80%99s%20Coping%20with%20Stress%20During%20the%20Pandemic%20page.
“Studies Show Normal Children Today Report More Anxiety than Child Psychiatric Patients in the 1950's.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2000/12/anxiety.
“Teen Stress Statistics.” Teen Help, 25 Feb. 2016, www.teenhelp.com/stress-anxiety/teen-stress-statistics/.