How is Mental Health in Students Affected by School?

Lex Sanchez, Content Creator

With school life, home, and work, a student’s mental health can be affected tremendously due to the stress of being expected to juggle it all perfectly. How does school affect a student’s mental health? At school, students are expected to do well academically, turn in assignments on deadlines, work towards their future, join academic clubs and activities, and actively participate in class. For a student with a negative mindset, this can be very challenging.

According to a study by, “Mental health problems can affect a student’s energy level, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism, hindering performance, Research suggests that depression is associated with lower grade point averages, and that co-occurring depression and anxiety can increase this association. Depression has also been linked to dropping out of school”.

So  we can see how school work can be affected by a student that is not mentally healthy. School and mental health can go hand in hand. If a student is not doing well mentally, they will most likely not do well in school and if they are not doing well in school, it could negatively impact a student’s mental health. Is this a problem at our school? Well, it can affect anyone.

Alondra Alvarez, a junior here at GBHS said, “School negatively affects my mental health because of all of the pressure. My classes aren’t the easiest so If I fail a test, I feel worthless. I strive to be a great student but it’s not fun trying to keep up and not having any time to myself. This means no friends, family, or breaks. It’s not fun but I feel like I have to do it because it’s what I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.”

Another student, Natalie Williams, also a junior at GBHS said, “I feel overwhelmed and busy most of the time and stay up really late.”

Of course, school can also affect students in positive ways. We can also take extra steps to make school a safe environment to speak about our feelings and struggles. Being mentally healthy makes students more successful in school and in life, so why wouldn’t the school have more resources available if they want students to succeed? 

Our school could put in place time and safe places in class so students can have regular check-ins. This can help students feel less alone and have a healthier class environment. It could even encourage students to speak to their teachers or counselor when they are not doing well academically or mentally and need help. Schools are supposed to be where students develop many of their academic skills and have social growth. To make students have this mindset, the school should prioritize mental health all year round. Students need to be aware that their voice matters and that they have resources readily available to them. 

When asked about what positive effects school has on mental health, Alondra Alvarez said, “School positively affects my mental health because of the people I can interact with. If I were alone all day my mental health would be so much worse. I’m glad to have people around. Sometimes those moments make the hard work worth it.”

Natalie Williams, who was asked the same question said, “I enjoy going to some classes and seeing friends and I do enjoy learning, my teachers are great.”

School can be a safe place for everyone and we can further this by implementing new things to check in on students.

As a society, we need to overcome the stigma of mental health. We need support from the people that are supposed to be here for us. Having support can make it easier to get treatment and to not isolate themselves. The stigma makes people believe that there is something wrong with them and that they are alone in what they are going through so they isolate themselves and see themselves as their mental illness. Discrimination against students because of their mental health violates the law and teachers are required to help students as best as they can, which is important to remember for students. 

If a student has nowhere else to go, let’s make school that place for them. Let’s work together to implement new ways to accommodate students. Let’s start here, in Great Bend High School in making school a place students do not dread going to. We can help each other out. We are not alone.