Going into break, how’s your health?

Did you know the average high school student has higher anxiety levels than a child psychiatry patient in the 1950s? 1 in 7 students from the ages of 10 to 19 will struggle with their mental health, and it is theorized that at least 20% of children have an undiagnosed mental illness.

This is in part due to the stigma when it comes to therapy and mental health, even though therapy has been shown to help. Seeing a therapist gives patients a safe place to express their thoughts, and feelings, anxieties, and whatever else may be weighing them down.

Therapy is an empowering process that helps individuals own their struggles, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and realize that challenge is normal.

Despite the stigma around therapy, it is just another form of healthcare. Therapists are another kind of doctor, but for the mind. If someone has a virus, they go to the doctor to figure out what’s wrong, and what can be done. There is no shame in that. Therefore, there should be no shame in going to a therapist when your anxiety levels are too high, or something just feel off, to find out what’s wrong, and what can be done.

Asking for help can be terrifying, and it’s common to think people will judge you for needing a bit of assistance. But odds are? No one is going to look at you any differently for it.”

During exams, it may have been hard for students to prioritize their health. Grades are important, but physical health should not be sacrificed in order to maintain good grades, and neither should mental health. In reality, not putting mental health first tends to result in worse grades, as anxiety and depression result in a lack of engagement and motivation, and can even affect a student’s ability to recall information.

Use the break for a reset. If health was neglected, if mental health isn’t strong, resolve to start the second semester with a plan for support.

Asking for help can be terrifying, and it’s common to think people will judge you for needing a bit of assistance. But odds are? No one is going to look at you any differently for it. It’s something that will only help in the long run. Safe communities — where asking for help is encouraged not shamed — are the only way to ensure that there isn’t any shame in seeing a counselor or seeking out a therapist. Students should trust that their teachers will take their mental health into account and help them manage.

All it takes is knowing there is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has their own struggles, and everyone needs help sometimes. Everyone deserves to feel like their best self, and if that means seeing a therapist, there’s nothing wrong with that. No matter what’s going on in life, everyone deserves a chance to be healthy.