This is a post someone very close to me requested that i write about, them wanting to know my view on mental health at school and how it is coped with and how aware we were made of it from a young age. Now im writing this from the view of the secondary school i went too so im well aware that many schools may be different.
Growing up i wasn’t made aware of mental illnesses nor was i informed of what they were. I can never recall a lesson where we were made aware of it, maybe it was mentioned once or twice in English when we were studying a book that happened to mention it but otherwise nothing. It makes me sad because i feel like not only could people recognise what they could potentially be going through but it would also help educate the teachers on how to appropriately approach us about certain situations, now i am in no way saying that people with mental health issues should receive special treatment but there are some tiny changes that could be made to help us cope.
You see when the topic of mental illness is mentioned i feel some people automatically assume the worse, some not properly educated and immediately thinking we’re some type of crazy and they should stay away from us at all costs. Thats because the only time we are made aware of mental illness is in movies and nine times out of ten we’re not shown in a good light. Another thing that bothers me is people arent aware that there is a difference between feeling nervous and having anxiety. As someone who went to counselling for years im aware feeling anxious is a natural human emotion that we all experience in our life but for someone with anxiety its not just every once in a while so to assume that you have anxiety because you’re nervous or anxious about one thing in your life makes us want to scream, again I am no way targeting certain people because i understand that if you’re not properly educated in that subject the only thing you can do is assume.
Now the school i went too i must admit was very well with meeting the needs of people who were physically disabled but i never once felt there was any support for people mentally and if there was the students were never made aware of it. It just bothers me because in the school i went too on a Thursday we would have an extra long ‘form’ which is where im guessing everyone else calls it PSHE was taught. Now we were taught everything from sex education to how to get a proper understanding of the private sector but we were never once taught about mental health.
To help ourselves we need help first, we need to be aware of these things so we’re able to understand ourselves and the situation better. Its not easy, going through something and having absolutely no idea whats going on is scary, it makes you frightened of yourself. Just one lesson every couple of months could help or even one lesson a year, anything is all we ask for, to educate not just the students at school but also the teachers.
The teachers are another part, although their ages may vary i feel like they arent properly educated in that subject either so they do the natural thing and cover it up by blaming it on bad behavior, they almost shy away from it because they’re unsure how to act.
I feel like no matter what any ounce of teaching on mental illnesses in school could help, any little bit of understanding someone could have. Even if its set as homework to write and understand about it a little better it could help a variety of people. You never know it could maybe change someones life for the better.