Depression in our School

Depression in our School

Ingrid Pureco

For years, the freshman class has received overall health education during the JROTC class period to help educate students about their bodies. One of the topics briefly talked about was mental illness, how to identify it, and what to do if and when it is noticed. Even so, in the class of 2017, several people have had a mental breakdown, and we still see little to no support for mental illness.

In 2013, the class of 2017 saw its first glimpse of mental health problems as one of the top students finally had a break because of the immense stress and pressure they were under, and was sent to a hospital to receive treatment. In 2014, the class of 2017 saw two occasions of hospitalization for a student with depression. Promises were made from a few instructors to start a support group within the school for students with depression and other such mental illnesses, but those  never came true.

Students often notice that when the topic of depression comes up, most instructors start to show an uncomfortable smile that is followed by a dismissal of the topic altogether. The question of whether or not the school provides enough resources comes to light.

“To an extent, I think our school provides us with a robust support network through our counselors, teachers and now mentors (for seniors). I feel like PMA Staff is always open to give advice and help us in uncertain situations. However, personally, I have never been made aware of specific mental illness resources by any staff member,” said senior Krystal Rosales.

Though addressed in certain classes, mental illness is often ignored. This left students feeling like they have no one to turn to when they feel the effects of their mental illness.

“Mental illness is ignored in our school because there isn’t enough awareness for it. We hear about breast cancer, and women’s rights, however, we don’t show appreciation for those with mental illness,” said senior Cynthia Olivares.

Even so, some people believe that mental illness is not ignored by the school.

“PMA does not ignore mental illness, it is addressed if need be. However, it is not helped either, or at least anymore to my knowledge,” said Rosales.

Whether or not people believe mental illness is ignored in our school, one thing is certain; the school does not give the students enough resources or help with mental illness. One of the main problems is that teachers assume that students know who to turn to and expect students to do so when they are in need. Even so, some students need a push, some assistance to get the help they want to receive. Further, a student needs help to grow after falling to their mental illness, of which our school does not do.

“During my freshman year, I was hospitalized for about a week. The transition back into school was not easy. I received a lot of backlash for various reasons regarding my hospitalization. I say this because our society, not only our school, still stigmatizes mental illness,” said Rosales.