It is no great secret that the education industry has seen many brilliant evolutions over the years. From scholarship programs to E-learning platforms, and everything in between, the education industry is one of the global marvels that additionally serves as a pillar of societal function. The education systems that we have today are vastly different from the ones that existed fifty years ago. Overwhelmingly positive changes have occurred, changes that have had phenomenally positive impact on students, educators, and the academic field as a whole.
But the education industry has also seen many challenges and trials in its time, and it is equally important to acknowledge and recognise them in turn. And while each of them have come with their own respective price to pay, none have been as prominent as the issue that the education industry is currently facing. This is a problem that has reached epidemic proportions on a global scale, and it is something that schools are struggling to combat, and students are having immense difficulty overcoming when faced head on with the problem. This problem is mental health, and it is overwhelmingly abhorrent.
The statistics of the fact
The facts are undeniable, and the statistics speak volumes of the epidemic proportions that mental health in education has reached. A staggering 78% of educators have witnessed students in their care struggled with mental health issues in the last year alone. The shockingly high percentage is not even the most troubling aspect of the system. Every year, the percentage grows, and not only that, but it becomes increasingly obvious that students who do struggle with their mental health often do not feel adequately supported. Change is vital, and it is long overdue.
The responsibility of the academic institutions
While it is true that schools are not mental health facilities, every educational institution has a responsibility to ensure that they at the very least have the appropriate mental health assistance platforms in place. Making all students aware of the mental health assistance on campus (including support groups, psychologists, and guidance counsellors) is crucial to students feeling supported and valued by their school. When students are made aware of the forms of assistance out there, and encouraged to make use of them, the problem begins to lift.
The accountability of all of us
As difficult as it is for many to hear, it is the unfortunate truth that we are sometimes part of the problem. Currently and in the past, there has been an ongoing stigma attached to the subject of mental health. This stigma has been left to fester over the years, and now it is stifling and overwhelming to say the least. Students (or anyone else, for that matter) who today suffers with mental health strain are still faced with the barriers that stop them from feeling like they are worthy of help. We must collectively work to tear down these barriers, to actively choose to be a consistent solution rather than a contributor to the festering problem. Not only to students need us, now more than ever, but we all need one another, always.