COLUMN: Mental health in students, teachers


Ellen Dooley

Ellen Dooley, Columnist

Mental health in the school setting has been a widely talked about topic in recent years. With COVID-19, students were in the spotlight of how they were coping and handling the pandemic. But, during the last two years, more and more teachers have been leaving the profession due to mental health struggles and overall unhappiness.  

People are starting to realize the pressure of school and stress and how it affects the students. Things like therapy, medication and even just talking about the topic has been beginning to be destigmatize. People feel more comfortable about opening up about their struggles. 

The use of technology has also enabled this. Some people may have the ability to anonymously post about their struggles and receive feedback from other users. Also, tele-therapy, or online therapy, has been increasingly available, especially when practices had to adapt to COVID-19.  

From what I have seen, students coming back after the pandemic lockdown have been more aware of their mental health struggles. Whether they had developed them over quarantine or become aware of them, they now know what they may struggle with.

Thus, the need for therapy or counseling had grown greater. That seems to be the main concern right now. Students recognize they need help, but they are unable to actually get the help they need due to long wait lists or a lack of professionals to assist them.  

Students are not the only ones in the school setting feeling the pressure. There is a serve teacher shortage that puts extra stress on teachers who are actually working. Many teachers had to leave the profession due to health reasons or even because of the income. Teachers were recognizing that there were higher paying jobs, plus they did not have to deal with the stress of possibly becoming ill.  

For the teachers still in the profession, they feel they are stretched way too thin. Because of the shortage, they are taking on more duties and class loads. There are many teachers who are also helping students with their mental health issues while still trying to deal with their own struggles. They often put the needs of their own students before their own. Therefore, it creates a domino effect of stress and worry. 

Mental health is a big topic in education. Everyone, whether they realize it or not, seems to be struggling with their mental health from time to time. But how can you help anyone if you are sinking?

We all may be feeling some distress, but we are also human. We all have struggles, but we can also overcome them. Keep fighting.  


Ellen Dooley is a Sophomore Special Education Standard Major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]