Caring for mental health

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 10, 2016

Monday, during Pearl River County’s School Board meeting, two of the district’s social workers discussed the importance of student mental health.
It’s a very interesting topic. I remember the troubles I faced during my teenage years, both at home and school.
However, when I was feeling down, I had the support of my parents and teachers, with whom I discussed my problems.
During junior high, a friend of mine brought a weapon to school. It was their intent to harm themselves, not anyone else.
I, and another friend, immediately told our school counselor about the incident and my friend received help.
We weren’t worried about being labeled “tattle tales.”
There were warning signs we didn’t ignore and we liked our friend too much to see them hurt themself.
While I can’t remember our counselors speaking to our classes about suicide, I still knew what my friend intended to do that day.
I’m glad that school officials are taking positive steps toward identifying possible mental health disorders in students.
Hopefully, the disorders can be caught in time and treated accordingly. This will give them the chance to live a productive life with family and friends.
I know my friend does and I’m glad I was there that day and played a role in preventing their suicide attempt.
I knew the signs, but some young adults may not. This is why I’m glad to see the district’s social workers helping students identify the symptoms of mental health disorders in friends and family members.
I also believe the students receive a lesson in empathy, which comes from experiencing certain situations or learning the effects of certain diseases and disorders.
This is National School Social Work Week so I encourage students, fellow teachers, administrators and parents to take a moment this week and thank your school’s social worker, who work tirelessly toward a mentally healthy Pearl River County.

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