How does School Impact Mental Health?

According to a new study by Live Science, about one in five teens in the United States suffers from a mental disorder severe enough to impact their daily activities, either currently or at some point in their lives. That’s every one in five students at ADM High School that is suffering silently. To find out more and to see just how much school is affecting our mental health, a survey was conducted anonymously as a way of research, to figure out just what is going on in the halls of our very own school. 

With over 200 survey submissions, 78.6% of people said that school causes them increased amounts of stress, while only 13.9% are not stressed. The other 7.5% said they are stressed by other factors. A second question was asked to see how often school is negatively affecting mental health and 22.3% of people said always, 44.1% said often, 18.8% said sometimes, while only 12.9% said hardly ever or never. With those numbers, it can only be assumed that over half of the high school feels stressed out. But, what specifically is so stressful? Well, the survey went in deeper to find out.

A whopping total of 159 people said that homework causes the most stress in school for them, that comes out to 79.9% of all answers. Just following that, 49.2% of students said the classes stress them out. Most concerning, 26.6% and 25.6% of students said that other classmates and even teachers stress them out. Other answer submissions included presenting in class, grades, and tests cause stress.  What can we do about this? Where do we go from here?

Next, the survey asked how students feel positively impacted by school. Out of those results, only 4% said always, while 70.7% said often or sometimes, and lastly, 23.5% said hardly ever or never. When asked how school positively increases well being or mental health, some real answers and words of our own students mostly include “being around friends is what helps school stay positive.” Some other responses included, “Having teachers to talk to,” as well as “classes with affirmations that tell me something good every day,” and lastly “School is something that is constant and is the same thing every day which I enjoy and helps me to get up and spend time with friends every day.” 

The last part of the survey was to give some insight on what can be done differently in our high school to help lower students’ stress levels and create a more positive environment. A lot of students suggested less homework on a daily basis or more prep time to study in some classes. Some other responses included “Coloring pages or taking some sort of break in the middle of the day aside from lunch,” as well as “Mental Health Week, We all get another break to be out of school at the same point in the year to be able to relieve the stress on the students both mentally and physically.”

Overall, with these results it is found that high school can be very stressful and does not always impact students in a positive way. It is good for all of us as a community and as a school district to recognize these problems and help to lift each other up so we can be amazing. If there are ever any questions or concerns, please talk to you school counselor to get some help.