For my research essay I will be focusing on the effect of addressing mental health in high school. During my research my goal is to bring attention to the importance of mental illnesses, especially depression. The idea behind my hypothesis is for students who struggle with anxiety and depression to be aware of healthy coping methods and for them to keep their private and social lives a positive and encouraging community. The hypothesis would be edited so that the question itself can be verifiable and arguable; however, the goal remains: to research the effect of addressing mental health to those who are beginning to reach the age of maturity. Prior to this assignment, research has not been conducted. But with the personal experience with a mental illness and lack of awareness, I feel that researching and addressing these issues with healthy ways of coping can positively influence many students.
Source 1: High School Depression and Suicide Prevention Program
Background: This source talks about a mental health course that was implemented in high school with the goal of raising awareness of teenage depression and provide resource information for those who are feeling depressed or suicidal. After the study, results have shown that not only students who are struggling have found help, but even those who don’t have depression have been able to pick up on signs from their peers who may be silently struggling, and have helped them.
How I intend to use it: I will use this source as evidence to strengthen my argument that raising awareness about mental illnesses and providing healthy coping methods could help, whether coping methods include seeing professional help or other ways of coping, which I will further continue my research.
Source 2: Mental Health Programs in schools
Background: This source explains a school-based intervention to reduce depression and PTSD for young children who have been exposed to traumatic events. The study explores factors that influence the implementation of a specific evidence-based practice in schools, more specifically, the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS). This study demonstrates that these evidence-based practice do help students with dealing with depression and trauma, but only more likely when previously exposed to these practices.
How I intend to use it: This source stresses the importance of dealing with depression and trauma; although trauma itself isn’t mentioned in my hypothesis, it could definitely be related to my research. I plan to use the information found to either support the idea that addressing mental health could benefit students or not, or maybe that this study specifically could or could not work for the outcome of my research.
Source 3: Addressing Students’ Social and Emotional Needs
Background: This source talks about schools that have recognized the importance for mental health and personal needs for students; not just teaching material but also providing strategies for effectively dealing with highly stressful situations. Multiple studies have been conducted and the results have shown positive outcomes for managing stress for the students.
How I intend to use it: The studies could present useful information for determining the effectiveness for these mental health efforts. The results have shown that addressing mental health yields positive results, but I will analyze this source for how effective it really is.
Source 4: Evolving Roles for School Nurses
Background: This source argues that aside from teaching academic sources, which is required by the NCLB, that mental health services are equally important for the student body. This article also addresses issues for districts without these services, such as the budget not being able to cover the cost of hiring professionals. However, with the students in luck, solutions are available. This source dives into the importance of mental health of students as they grow.
How I intend to use it: This source seems to support my hypothesis with the explanation of how important mental health is for students. I believe that this source could strengthen my argument that making mental health aware in school and providing help could greatly benefit the students.
Source 5: Mental Health and System Restructuring
Background: This source talks about mental health awareness in a different light in terms of schools. The source explains that a school’s mandate is to educate; they are not in the health business. This may be somewhat of an explanation for why not every school has a program or effective way for mental care. This article continues to explain that too few schools have enough mental care resources for all the students. This can be understandable to an extent: for a large student body, resources need to increase in quantity while not decreasing in quality.
How I intend to use it: This source made me look at mental health awareness in schools in another way. A school’s goal is to educate students and to help them realize their dreams in terms of a profession. It is not to provide mental care, that is why professional therapy exists. However, after addressing the mandate of school and the benefits of bringing mental care into school through studies and experiments, I intend to question the idea of mental care into an educational course; not only in a way of recognizing that our emotional well being matters but also to educate on what to do if one’s emotional state is not as it should be.