Improving Mental Health Support in Schools

Jeric Velasco, Guest Writer

Mental health is a major concern for young people, and schools play a critical role in addressing this issue. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 1 in 5 teenagers experience some form of mental health disorder, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24. It is essential for schools to have adequate support systems in place to address mental health concerns, but not all schools are equipped to handle these issues.

According to a survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only 44% of schools in the United States have access to mental health professionals, and many schools do not have the funding to provide necessary support services. This lack of resources is compounded by a stigma surrounding mental health that can prevent students from seeking help. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that only 31% of high school students feel comfortable discussing mental health issues with a teacher or counselor.

To improve mental health support systems in schools, it is important to address these barriers. Schools can invest in more resources for counseling and therapy, such as hiring additional mental health professionals, providing training for teachers and staff, and offering support groups for students. Additionally, education and awareness programs can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage students to seek help when needed.

Early intervention programs can also be effective in preventing mental health issues from escalating. By identifying at-risk students early on and providing support, schools can help prevent more serious mental health concerns from developing.

Despite the need for improved mental health support in schools, many schools have limited resources for mental health services. Some schools only have one counselor for hundreds of students, and funding for mental health services is often limited. Mental health organizations recommend that schools invest in more resources for counseling and therapy, increase education and awareness for students and staff, and implement early intervention programs.

In conclusion, mental health support in schools is an important issue that needs to be addressed. By investing in more resources, education, and awareness, schools can provide better support systems for students with mental health issues. However, it is essential for schools to do more to support students with mental health issues, such as hiring more counselors and providing more funding for mental health services. Schools should also provide more education and awareness for students and staff about mental health issues and how to support those who are struggling.



National Institute of Mental Health. (2019). Children and Mental Health.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2021). Mental Health in Schools.

American Psychological Association. (2018). Stress in America: Generation Z.