The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

Minneapolis


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Mental Health Needs Rise

COVID-19 pandemic, added stress necessitate focus on mental illness
Mental+Health+Needs+Rise
Sage Marmet

As personal, professional, and global stressors continue to compile, it becomes more difficult to prioritize well-being, as mental and emotional health are often pushed to the side. It is easy to convince yourself that poor mental health is not a good enough reason to take a break from school. However, research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), proves that mental health has a big impact on performance in school as they found that anxiety and depressive disorders cost more than a trillion dollars globally in lost productivity each year. 

From time to time, everyone needs to take a “mental health day,” which is a day meant to help reduce stress and burnout. It can provide a pause from schoolwork, technology, and other obligations. These days are crucial to maintaining overall health and well-being, both in and outside of school. 

It is important to remember that mental health is just as important to our overall well-being as your physical health. Just like any illness or bodily distress, your mind needs time to rest and recover. Furthermore, normalizing taking care of your mental health and reaching out for help is key. According to the Center Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7.1% of U.S. children (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety and 3.2% of children (around 1.9 million) have been diagnosed with depression. Unfortunately, youth depression rates are on the rise, according to Mental Health America.

Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, have been shown to negatively affect performance in school and interfere with personal relationships. Since school takes a tremendous amount of brain energy and attention, taking care of your mind is extremely important. Taking a mental health day can help refresh your mind and relieve stress. During this stressful time, a day dedicated to mental health is extremely beneficial. 

A rigorous academic environment is overwhelming for anyone. However, dealing with mental illness makes this more difficult. So, if school is already hard, why are we making it more difficult for students? As someone who struggles with anxiety on a daily basis as well as depression, mental health days are not just helpful, but they are necessary. The feeling of being too stressed or anxious to finish homework, is far too familiar for many people, including myself.

Mental illness is often invisible and therefore, it is nearly impossible to recognize if someone is struggling. This is why we must support the well-being of students, offer resources, and provide non-judgemental spaces for people of all identities. Not only will this improve the general well-being of the Blake community, but it will also help to take down the stigma surrounding mental illness. 

From counselors to affinity groups, Blake has made an effort to prioritize the well-being of students. However, with the ample resources available to Blake, we can all do more. Changing the language we use when discussing mental illness is key. Rather than contributing to negative ideas, ensure that these discussions foster safe and supportive spaces. Furthermore, increased understanding and grace in difficult times can go a long way. With all of these resources and methods available, mental health of students can become a priority.

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About the Contributors
Bernadette Whitely
Bernadette Whitely, Editor-in-Chief | Creative Director | In-Depth Editor
Hey, I’m Bernadette and I’m a senior! I'm the Editor-in-Chief and the Creative Director of The Spectrum. I also edit In-Depth pages. In the past, I have edited both Arts and Culture and Opinions sections. Last semester, I was the editor and leader for the Features section. I started Spectrum at the beginning of my freshman year and continued to be a staff writer until the end of my sophomore year. During my time as a staff writer, I wrote articles, created graphics, and took photos. Since starting Spectrum, I have always loved it. Being able to write about topics I am passionate about and interested in was an amazing experience. One of my favorite things about Spectrum is talking to and meeting new people through interviews and collaborations. 
Sage Marmet
Sage Marmet, Editor Emeritus
Hey, I'm Sage! I am a senior, and I am the Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Spectrum. Three years ago I began my Spectrum journey as a staff writer. Then second semester I became an editor and edited Student Life. The first semester my sophomore year, I edited Food Features and became the Creative Director. Second semester my sophomore year, I switched to editing the front page. Junior year, I continued as the Creative Director and edited the Opinions page. Last semester I became the Co-Editor-in-Chief, and I edited the Features and Student Spotlight pages. This semester I am continuing as Co-Editor-in-Chief and I am working with the Features team to edit the Features section. My favorite part of Spectrum is the day that we drop the paper because it is always so fun to see all how all of our hard work manifested itself as a great paper!

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