Krisha Patel

Reporter Ahnaf Chowdhury discusses the importance of mental health and the impacts of the stigma surrounding it after a devastating loss of an SHS student.

Ahnaf Chowdhury, Reporter

The recent tragic incident of a Seminole student’s passing has left us all shocked and heartbroken. While the identity of the student and the circumstances surrounding the incident have been kept anonymous, it is an unfortunate reminder of the importance of mental health awareness.


Mental health is an integral part of our overall well-being, and it affects how we think, feel, and behave in our daily lives. It is crucial to understand that mental illnesses are not a sign of weakness or a personal flaw. Rather, they are medical conditions that require treatment and support, just like any physical illness.


The stigma surrounding mental health issues often prevents individuals from seeking help, which can lead to a worsening of symptoms and, in extreme cases, even suicide. This is why it is essential to create a safe and supportive environment in our schools and communities where people feel comfortable seeking help when they need it.


The first step towards creating a supportive environment is to promote mental health awareness. It involves educating ourselves and others about mental health, its signs and symptoms, and the resources available for those who need help. We must also encourage conversations about mental health and provide a platform for individuals to share their experiences.


Many students often feel overwhelmed by the academic and social pressures of high school, which can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. It is essential to recognize that mental health is just as important as academic performance, and students must prioritize their well-being. Taking care of oneself, such as eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in physical activity, can improve mental health and reduce stress.


It is also crucial to recognize the warning signs of mental health problems in ourselves and our peers. Common signs of mental health problems include changes in behavior, mood, or habits. For example, if a student who is usually outgoing and social suddenly becomes isolated or withdrawn, it could be a sign that they are struggling with their mental health. Similarly, if a student who typically performs well academically begins to struggle, it could be a sign that they are struggling with stress or anxiety.


In addition to recognizing the warning signs, it is essential to provide resources and support to those who need help. Many schools offer counseling services, which can provide a safe and confidential space for students to talk about their feelings and concerns. Additionally, there are many resources available outside of school, such as hotlines and support groups, which can provide additional support.


It is also crucial to address the stigma surrounding mental health. Students who are struggling with their mental health often feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help, which can make them reluctant to talk about their experiences. It is essential to create an environment where students feel comfortable talking about mental health without fear of judgment or stigma.


It is important to note the availability of resources and people to talk to for those who are struggling with mental health issues, including counselors. 


The recent tragedy of a student’s death by suicide serves as a painful reminder of the importance of mental health awareness. We must prioritize our mental health and well-being and encourage others to do the same. Promoting mental health awareness, recognizing warning signs, and providing resources and support to those who need help can create a safe and supportive environment in our school and community. It is time to break the stigma surrounding mental health and create a culture where mental health is valued as much as physical health.