Mental health checks should be mandatory

Students should have mandatory mental health evaluations

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Mental health checks should be mandatory

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The school is no stranger to mandating certain tests and exams to evaluate students’ overall health. Students have been subject to taking eye exams and hearing checks in the school clinic since elementary school and these have all been required by the school itself. All these exams are to determine whether the student has an eye problem like nearsightedness or a hearing problem, that they may have otherwise not noticed or checked for as these could impact their learning. 

Mental health should not be an exception to these mandatory exams. As of recent years, some students have been pulled into the school psychologist for mental health evaluations, but these wellness checks should be required for all students of all ages. Although younger students like those in elementary schools may not have the resources to provide these mental health checks, they should still be mandatory especially in high schools as many students face undiagnosed depression, bipolar disorder, and numerous other conditions that affect their overall well being. 

The rise of suicide and depression rates in teenagers proves that this issue is a pressing matter that needs to be addressed, and the best way to do that is preventative through making sure students are doing all right sporadically. Through mandatory mental health evaluations, students have access to information about themselves and have the liberty of going to a professional without facing the stigma behind being evaluated. Many people are reluctant to go to a therapist or a psychologist under the guise that mental health is not a real issue or that the changes in mood and struggles they are facing are just “a bad day” even though their bad day has, in actuality, been every day. 

If vision and hearing are important enough for learning to have mandated exams then mental well being should be too. Students who face symptoms of depression or other conditions are more likely to fall behind in school and lose focus. They lose their drive and motivation, renouncing their ability to do well in class and in life. Mental health disorders are just as impactful on one’s education as their vision and hearing. Just because it is not a physical problem does not mean it should go unaddressed. Too many students have depression or other disorders that go undiagnosed, and for the betterment of the student body, mental health checks should be mandatory for all.

Do you think schools should provide mandatory mental health evaluations for students?

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