In the past, we’ve extensively covered some of the problems facing students in our state such as texting while driving. Last year, we asked students to attack the problem head on and write about why their fellow students have such a problem keeping distractions out of the driver seat and how they’d handle the issue if they were in charge. You can read two of the great essay submissions we received below:
- First Place Fall Scholarship Essay – Kenzie Luckett
- Second Place Fall Scholarship Essay – Justin Kelleher
For this year’s scholarship program, we wanted to find another topic that was affecting high school and college students across the nation. That topic is mental health, and we had no idea how much it was impacting students until we took a deeper look into the issue.
Rates of Student Anxiety and Depression Continue to Rise
Stress in school is not a new problem. It’s something that we can all relate to from our years in the education system. I remember being stressed when tests were coming up and sometimes feeling that there was a never-ending stream of work coming my way. There is a difference between school stress and the mental health issues many students are experiencing today.
- Nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. Between 2007 and 2012, anxiety disorders in children and teens went up 20%.
- For college students, the rate of moderate to severe depression and anxiety rose by nearly 20% over the last several years.
- In the past 15 years, the rate of depression in college students has doubled.
If you take even a brief look at some of the news stories and studies that have come out in the past few years, you’ll see that this is a major problem facing our communities. Our children are facing mental health problems like never before.
How Can We Help Our Students?
There’s no easy answer to the question of why our students are struggling so much with depression and anxiety. The contributing factors will vary from person to person, but we need to take a serious look at what we can do to help. If we don’t face the problem head on, it’s clear that this trend will continue to grow.
Students in high school and college are still growing and developing as individuals. It’s a tough time in their lives as they are making decisions that will help determine their future. In many cases, we’re asking students to make decisions about what they’ll do for the rest of their lives by the time they reach their late teens. It’s important that we take the time to listen to them. Make sure that you’re checking in with your high school or college students to see how they’re doing.
One of the ways we can help is by removing the stigma of mental health issues. If teens and young adults don’t feel comfortable talking about the struggles that they face, they’re far less likely to seek help when they’re in need. Many schools around the country are creating or funding resources to help their students with anxiety, depression and any other mental health concerns. We need to make sure that our students are taking advantage of these resources and aren’t feeling ashamed that they need help.
The Brooks Law Scholarship Program
As we’ve already mentioned, listening is one of the most important parts of helping our current high school and college students. If you don’t listen to what is causing anxiety and depression in students, it’s hard to know what you can do to help. At the Brooks Law Group, we’re hoping to encourage an open dialogue with our spring scholarship program.
We’re asking students what they think is causing anxiety and depression among their fellow students and how they believe we can help tackle this growing problem.
If you know a high school or college student, be sure to direct them to our scholarship page. Twice a year we offer a $1000 and $250 scholarship to students in our state that go above and beyond. Every year, we’re blown away by the quality of submissions that we receive from our students. For more information about this upcoming scholarship, visit our scholarship page on the Brooks Law Group website.