There has been a recent influx of publicity about mental health treatment and awareness, but I believe that neither the schools, nor the community and its programs, are ready to take on such a big challenge.
While efforts are necessary to ensure accessible and comprehensive treatment for those already in the system, early intervention is prevention in most cases, and stopping mental health problems in their tracks through schooling is how this epidemic will be helped, according to Forbes magazine.
Our governor has realized this, but the funds seem to be misguided. He is planning on giving $155 million to schools to increase the number of mental health professionals on school campuses. However, even my peers in high school find it difficult to verbalize their mental health issues to each other, let alone to an adult in a school system.
This is due to lack of education about the illnesses themselves, not the lack of adults to speak with.
I believe this funding should be redirected to focus on K-12 curriculum programs that teach about mental illnesses in healthy ways. This would empower many students to get help faster and would solve some of the community’s most pressing youth mental health needs.