Nowadays as studies are becoming more demanding as well as competitive, school students find it hard to cope with this additional pressure. According to psychologist Richard Weissbourd, Today’s most “potent ingredient” is “achievement pressure” — the pressure to excel across academic subjects and a wide range of extracurriculars, culminating in the stress of putting together an impeccable college admissions package. They are expected to be perfect both academically as well as in co-curricular activities. This increased amount of stress has contributed a lot to feelings of depression and anxiety in school students. “Depression and anxiety are like flip sides of the same coin,” says therapist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD. “Being depressed often makes us anxious, and anxiety often makes us depressed.”
Why Is It Important To Deal With This Issue?
It is pertinent both as a school administrator and a member of society to provide the youth mechanisms to cope with these mental health issues. Individuals of school-going age are essentially part of an extremely vulnerable age group, emotional as well as social development at this point in time is essential in molding their future personalities. It is important that parents are also involved in this process; the first step to do so is creating awareness about youth issues both inside and outside of school.
Types Of Counseling Offered At School
- Counselor services
Every school must definitely have a counselor, who is an expert in his or her field, and perhaps have additional experience of dealing with youth’s mental health issues. The counselor can help an anxious student in various ways. For instance, the foremost and most common way is conducting one to one sessions with the students in order to develop a certain level of comfort with them, which allows the student to share their problems with the counselor. In addition to this, sometimes the problem a student is facing is not due to academic or any other sort of school-related problem, but the source of it is stemming from home. In such cases, the counselor must have close coordination with both the parents and teachers of the student.
- Awareness campaigns
Awareness campaigns are extremely important in creating mental health awareness in schools. These campaigns can be carried out by different school clubs and they can be more specific towards the goals of a certain club or society at school. For instance, the school club for campus development and student welfare, or perhaps the student council, can arrange sessions on bullying and suicide prevention. Other awareness campaigns can also be run by the sports club as well, however, they might be more focused on the mental health issues of athletes.
- Group sessions
Group counseling sessions, especially in a school setting, can be a beneficial way of tackling several issues at one time. It allows students of similar ages or classes, dealing with issues that alike to be grouped together, perhaps after school. “For many people “group therapy can be more powerful and mutative than individual therapy,” according to Judye Hess, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist.
The aim of these groups may vary based on the issue under discussion. It is must, however, be remembered that the sole focus of this group therapy must not only be limited to settling individual problems but must also extend to building healthy relationships amongst the group members based on respect. Such a session is, therefore, really popular in dealing with students facing anger management issues. There are several group activities, involving ice-breaking games, sports activities, talk sessions, the students can engage in.
- Career services
Career services can be provided to students in schools as a whole, and even as part of different clubs and societies in school. Students who are part of the journalism and writing clubs or the basketball team may require different sorts of career services based on their field of interest and by a professional knowledgeable in that field. He or she can hold one-to-one sessions with the student, helping them in exploring different options for their future. College admissions and career selection is a cause of anxiety amongst many high school students, hence making dealing with this issue pertinent on a school level.