Currently, more teens die from suicide than heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, cancer, and strokes combined. (Monroe) People are driven to this point because of the lack of guidance they receive. They’re driven even further into this deep dark abyss but have to keep functioning, keep doing their homework, keep living their lives even as they’re falling apart. The novel Ordinary People by Judith Guest is a prime example of this. Conrad, the main character. Suffers from depression and tries to live his life as normal. In the end, it does not succeed, and he tries to eradicate himself. He spends 8 months in a mental hospital recovering. Once he is released, he attempts to return to his normal life; but he isn’t the same person as before. He tries to figure out how to become himself again. One of the things that contributes to him reaching his breaking point is school. The pressure of keeping his grades up gets to him, it consumes him. If schools provided the option to learn how to deal with stress, situations like these could be prevented.
Schools don’t provide proper anxiety management, this leaves students depressed, anxious and unhealthy. Stress is a natural response and a little bit of it is a good thing. Nevertheless, a lot of stress will lead to anxiety and in some cases, depression. Negative stress discourages a person and if left unchecked it can ruin a life. (www.teenhealthandwellness.com) A solution to this problem would be to start looking for the good parts of a person instead of the bad. This can start in the classroom and won’t cost anything. Schools could also implement a class that students can take that teaches them how to deal with stress. 85% of college students state that they feel overwhelmed by everything they have to do. (Monroe) If schools had better prepare them for the stress that they’ll face for the rest of their lives, then there wouldn’t be as many students strained. Whatever the solution is, it needs to be implemented soon before we lose even more lives.
Some may say that it’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure that their student is well equipped to deal with anxiety. However, parents fail to prepare their children for the pressure they will face. They did go to school, but chances are, the school system has changed from when they were in it. Parents could help in some ways, but schools are the ones putting this strain on students. Out of 2.2 million teens that experience a depressive episode, only 19% get help from a medical professional. (Monroe) Right now, parents are in charge of getting their struggling teens help, and only 19% actually get help. This demonstrates another reason why schools need to step in, to help the 44,000 Americans that die from suicide every year. (Darras) At the moment, we’re not doing enough. We need to assist those who really need it otherwise this number will only rise.
Schools should focus more on stress management, offering classes so students have the option to learn a healthy way to deal with the weight of school. Though some may say the parents should be the ones to address this issue, they don’t know the kind of pressure that their child will experience. The schools are the ones who put this disquietude on them and would be the ones who know how to help them come to peace with it. Like Guest said, “To have a reason to get up in the morning, it is necessary to possess a guiding principle.” Depression in teens can be stopped and these deaths can be prevented, we can help them all be ordinary people again.
Darras, Brittni. TEDx Talks. August 2017. March 2019. .
Guest, Judith. Ordinary People. Penguin Books, 1982.
Monroe, Jamison. Adolescent Depression in Schools. 31 July 2018. Feburary 2019. .
Overscheduling and Stress. April 2018. Feburary 2019. .
Teen Health and Wellness. n.d. Feburary 2019. .