High School Headaches


Jacob Morelan

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 49% of teens have some form of a mental disorder. Of those teens, 22% have a severe impairment. A common problem when talking about mental health is that the conversation usually doesn’t make it far past depression.  

While depression is a large piece of the problem, it’s not the only one. ADHD, OCD, bipolar disorder and substance abuse are just a few others. While some of the time people are born with the disorder, there are a good amount of these cases that are actually caused by bullying or even peer pressure. What a lot of people don’t realize is that addiction or even substance abuse is a form of mental illness. 

With all of these facts and statistics, you would think that there would be a ton of money going into helping these students; however, more times than not, schools are generally unprepared. Nationwide, only about 20% of students actually get the help they need, and those that don’t, illness or not, still go to school.

These illnesses can have a significant effect on how well students perform in school. Students with unhelped illnesses are more likely to skip/disrupt class, get worse grades, and even drop out altogether. 

Unfortunately, students can and fall through a hole in a system that wasn’t fully sealed up to begin with, and in reality, there isn’t any one person or group that all the blame can be placed on. There simply isn’t enough information or manpower. This goes all the way from parents knowing what to look for, to teachers having a list of pressures from all angles, to a sheer lack of social workers to make thorough check ups with students that have problems.