Mental Health Awareness

Olivia Privizzino, Contributing Writer

  A lot of people don’t understand how neurodiversity affects the people who are neurodiverse and those around them. Schools can help people better understand them and help them. People need to be taught about neurodiversity and they can be if schools make it more accessible to learn or add clubs so people can find others to talk about it with.

A reason why a lot of people don’t understand mental health is that it’s not taught in schools. It should be taught and brought up more than it is because as someone who personally has ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, and PTSD, it angers me when people joke about mental health. For example, I have heard people say, “Oh my god! I have PTSD from that now!” And all that happened was a teacher told them to do their work. It angers me to hear that when the only thing that happened was so small and PTSD is not something that should be joked about. If schools had mandatory lessons on mental health, then maybe students would be more cautious about what they say and will know not to joke about it.

Teachers also need to be better prepared for how to handle students who have mental health issues as well as situations where mental health is brought up inappropriately. Mental health can seriously affect someone’s learning, while teachers are teaching certain lessons, things could be brought up that trigger a student. Students could also have a hard time paying attention in class because of their mental health issues.  If teachers knew how to handle these issues, then a student’s learning won’t be interrupted. To help students, teachers should be informed beforehand so that they can help the student appropriately.

Finally, there are a lot of kids in this school who are neurodiverse, such as autistic, down syndrome, etc. What about their siblings? I have an older brother who has many diagnoses. Living with him can be a nightmare, but I don’t really have a lot of people my age who I can talk to about it without worrying that they’ll take it the wrong way. Not all neurodiverse people are like my brother, and he’s not all bad. However, it would help if we had a club for people to be able to talk to others who shared the problem of not being able to talk about their siblings or family.

If schools made learning about neurodiversity more accessible then people might take it more seriously. Neurodiversity is important to learn about because it helps kids understand more about their neurodiverse peers. Schools should make neurodiversity more accessible so people are more understood.