May Staff editorial

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If we haven’t made it clear already, this year has been a mess. 

It’s been emotional and overwhelming and, quite honestly, very difficult to understand. We’ve talked through a lot about the events that have occured in the past few months and have begged the question: What can we do? Firstly wrapping our head around everything is difficult as it is, then trying to distinguish what needs to be changed seems impossible. 

What we do know is some concrete change needs to happen. To begin, we would like to acknowledge that although there are tragedies happening with our community, the administration isn’t really responsible. We are thankful for their efforts to enact change and for their open-minded communication with the student body. 

Although it’s difficult to devise concrete ideas and plans we have a couple suggestions:

  • We, along with other students, appreciated the relaxed curriculum day that we had on April 5. We believe that having a monthly or quarterly “mental health”/study day would be beneficial for our mental health.
  • We also felt like the assembly brought a sense of unity and was a good start to a schoolwide mental health conversation. We feel that periodic assemblies addressing the mental climate of our school would be helpful. However, we would also like to note that mental health is a fragile subject and leaders of the assemblies should be considerate of triggers.
  • We want to acknowledge that if there were indeed periodic assemblies, many students would not attend. We were thinking of ways in which we could immerse students in mental health awareness and education by having some sort of a Mental Health Week similar to our Homecoming Spirit Weeks and Power Weeks. We feel this would be a great way to start a conversation as well as promote teamwork and unity.
  • Along with all these things, we believe that as an education institution, education about mental health should be placed at the forefront. We need more discussion about mental health in health classes as well as within regular classes. We need more staff trained in dealing with mental health that have the tools to help students who are struggling (and to lessen the workload for our pre existing staff). We need more basic training for non-mental health professionals (teachers) about mental health. 

Mental health in general has lagged behind in research and treatment and we feel that now is the time to start pioneering research and implementation. We understand how big of a job handling the mental health of an entire school is, but we are ready to start making the changes that will better our school.