ANDREW

I remember when I was sad, crying in front of a teacher. I remember watching him trying to deal with me but he didn’t try hard enough. He just didn’t know what to do. This whole reason is why I’m writing this letter to you. Because you, The Teachers and Adults, need to be leading from the front when it comes to helping students overcome one of the biggest concerns among adolescent individuals – depression.

As the years go by, there has been an increase in the number of teens affected by depression. Unfortunately, there has been no improvement in the way educational institutions treat depression. Now yes, I know that schools have counselors and chaplains, however, it is still challenging for many students to actually locate these people. I still struggle to locate a counselor who is willing to help me sort out some personal issues. Overall, it is hard for students to deal with these issues if support is very difficult to find.

Furthermore, I am also concerned that the topic of depression is only addressed to senior students. Depression, however, affects senior and junior students alike. The constant focus on alcohol and drugs could thus be lessened in exchange for a more detailed exploration of depression and how it can affect people at a young age. If we can encourage ourselves to deal with this issue at its early stages, then it may just help us combat depression more effectively when we mature into seniors, given that a line of communication has already been developed that would encourage students to open up about their experiences without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. 

If we do not improve our services for combating depression, then I fear that the statistics I am about to share will get worse. The current statistics for teenage suicide rates are very eye-opening and quite confronting, to say the least. In the period from 2007 to 2018, teenage suicide rates have increased by 30 percent. The reason - Social media. I believe we need to have more talks on the impact of social media on depression because even though male students at Newington know that whatever you post stays on social media forever, it hasn’t really discouraged them from posting something explicit. I believe we need a talk with someone who will actually convince us that posting explicit or illegal things can literally end with the death of an individual that has lost the will to live as a result of a barrage of social media criticism or humiliation.

A cop visited our school and he was talking about drugs and underage drinking. This is a big issue in mental health. However, such discussion doesn’t help treat mental health problems. I believe there needs to be more of a discussion surrounding why people are taking these drugs. I personally have not taken drugs, however, I know people who have lost their lives given that they never received the support required to combat their depression. People my age are hardly ever asked if they are/were okay. They felt like they could rely on no one for support. As a consequence, they resort to drugs, not knowing the killer effect that certain drugs have on individuals. 

When I I interviewed my counselor with over 47 years of experience, and I began to realize that students aren’t the only ones with mental health problems. Adults struggle just as much with depression and need just as much help. This shows that we have so many different age groups that need help. The point I am trying to make is that everyone should have easy access to support services that facilitate open discussion about the consequences of depression. 

Something that I think could help diagnose whether someone has depression or other mental issues or not is the mind quiz on Beyond Blue. This quiz personally changed my way of how I think about myself with my anger issues as I learned And I believe that it can help everyone find out if they have problems with their depression anger anxiety or if they have an addiction with drugs or alcohol. I also appreciated the mind quiz’s ability to show me options to help with my personal issues by providing all the different hotlines and websites that I could go and contact. Beyond Blue’s mind quiz is really useful and is worth completing or people who desire to admit to themselves that they do have a problem with mental health. This could help individuals’ combat depression, or even worse, suicide. I believe the more quizzes and support services we have, it would be a huge step to helping everyone.

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