School mental health counselor

Teenage mental health concerns are skyrocketing throughout America, yet our school is woefully underprepared to handle it. The school district has three licensed psychologists, but none of them are stationed full-time at the high school, leaving our single school counselor as the only resource available on short notice.

To better address teenage mental health concerns, the school district should hire a licensed mental health counselor specifically for the high school.

Only a few mental health crises, the most dangerous ones, can be handled by the current staff at a time. Unfortunately, this means that most other students do not receive help. Depression is one of the biggest mental health problems on campus, but according to a study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 90% of those with anxiety and depression do not receive the treatment that they need. A full-time mental health professional at the high school would allow the staff to reach more students.

As young adults, high schoolers need more intensive support than younger children would. However, none of the current campus staff is licensed to give intensive mental health counseling. A licensed mental health counselor would be ideal to address their problems.

If students’ mental health needs are not met, countless negative consequences can ensue. Students with unchecked mental illnesses experience difficulty concentrating, decreased involvement in campus life and disorganization which result in poor academic performance. Students with mental health problems are also at a greater risk of dropping out. If the school wants to prevent students from dropping out, they should address the underlying mental health problems involved.

Those who would oppose hiring a mental health specialist may argue that these issues can be handled at home. However, many students do not have the resources to do so because of household conditions that prevent a good relationship with a parent or guardian. Contact with an adult is crucial for students with mental health issues. A mental health counselor on campus is uniquely suited to address them, as students spend most of their time at school.

Our school is not an exception to the epidemic of mental health problems among teens. Therefore, it would be wise to hire a psychologist or therapist to specifically address teenagers’ mental illnesses. They would be able to address it more effectively, leading to a healthier, more successful student body.