Editorial

Why Aren’t We Teaching Mental Health In School

Author | Andrea Patronas

Recently, I went to a counseling session with the overall purpose of becoming a better version of myself. This wasn’t my first counseling session, but it was by far the most fruitful. Furthermore, it appeared that this was by happen stance. That particular day, the air conditioner In my counselor’s office had leaked, and the carpet was saturated, so the maintenance men were in her office making the necessary repairs. My counselor directed me to follow her down the hallway to what appeared to be a conference room. We were both wearing COVID masks and positioned ourselves six feet apart.

I began to talk, and she began to listen, offering a positive word of encouragement when the opportunity presented itself. As we were talking, I couldn’t help but notice a display of materials adorning the walls, and it was obvious to me that they were valuable materials used as teaching tools. I couldn’t help but ask what it all meant. She then explained to me that the room we were in was used for trauma patients’ group therapy sessions. Additionally, she began to verbally make her way around the room explaining to me the purpose of each visual aid displayed on the wall. The one that really caught my attention was a colorful reference guide to Spirical Dynamics. I would suggest that you research it for yourself to glean from this wealth of information, but for me that day it was like a dark room was lit up by the noon day sun. My first comprehensive thoughts after she explained the dynamics to me, were followed by the question, “Why aren’t they teaching this in school?” Inferring that if that information had been provided to me in junior high or high school, it very well could have made a vast difference in my mental health and over all well being. There is so much going on during the school years so many thoughts, feelings, and emotions, but no lesson plans or worksheets to help to process, understand, or deal with them. Teaching about thoughts, feelings, and emotions, as well as the power of forgiveness and the detrement unforgiveness causea could play a vital role in the success of our youth. Maybe we should stand together in unity to promote the teaching of mental health. It is certainly as important as physical health. Making mental health part of the required curriculum certainly couldn’t hurt.