The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in Schools


Trey Pratt

Students outside the Forrer Learning Commons. Relaxing, working together and spending time with fellow students are all beneficial self-care activities.

Carleigh Atkins, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- Mental health is a crucial part of students’ well-being. Factors influencing mental health include stress, relationships, friendships, family and an overload of work. Numerous research studies show that the goal of this awareness is to help advocate for the mental health of college students and to have resources available for students in need, as well as for anyone who knows people who are struggling. 

New solutions:

  • Some schools have created meditation days and relaxation classes for students. 
  • Bridgewater College in particular has several weeks dedicated to mental health awareness. These weeks include events like petting zoos and emotional support animals.
  • “I think students are able to have many opportunities to feel accepted and welcome and have full access to the resources needed surrounding campus,” said first-year Megan Verstynen.

Why it matters:

  • In order to be academically successful, students must participate and engage in their classes. Participation is a huge grade in most of the courses that students are required to take.
  • Studies show that healthy students are better learners and have a higher work ethic and healthier motivation patterns.
  • “I have had a hard time paying attention when I was super tired,” said first-year Amiya Diaz. “I can not pay attention when I’ve had a long night because I either couldn’t fall asleep or I was up late doing homework. What helps me is trying to get work done earlier and to get most of it out of the way, as well as trying to wind down and get ready for bed earlier.”

What’s ahead:

Schools are working on taking the proper steps to increase student mental health. One solution identified by the Hopeful Futures Campaign is hiring more school mental health professionals.