Many times in schools, we focus on how to solve the problems of bullying from other teens. Which, if the school actually follows through with their procedures, is not a bad things. But what we don’t tell students is how to get help when the bully is yourself.
School systems generally do not have a very solid procedure that is the most helpful for students dealing with depression, extreme anxiety, and even so far as suicidal or self harm tendencies. Already there are some of you doubting where I’m coming from. Because how could I know the procedures of a school system? Well, as this school so often loves to, I’m going to reference the handbook. While there is a page dedicated to when we are allowed to use our cellphones (more than the even designated to “discrimination and harassment”), there is nothing on the procedure of what to do when you or a friend is hurting themselves.
What little procedure is in place for this (though not specified on any document that we have access to) I’ve found to be very wibbly wobbly. In middle school, you said the word depression or suicide and suddenly your world exploded and you landed yourself in Exeter Hospital. However, in High school, you provide pictures and screenshots of self harm and suicide plots to three separate administrators, and nothing happens.
1 in every 10 students is suffering from diagnosable depression or anxiety. For our school, that means about 2-3 students per class. We can’t pretend that it’s not a big deal. We’re a school of less than 300 students. That’s, statistically, 30 people walking around our school, battling their mind at every turn, having trouble mustering the energy to even be here. And out of the 30, there are roughly 15 who self harm and struggle with thoughts of suicide. Which even as I read it, seemed inflated. That many? But I rethought, and went back. And sadly, I can name 15. And those are just on average. We’re a small school; it could be much more than the 30 the average gives...