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Navigating High-School: How Students Maintain Their Mental Health

High-school can be a jungle gym of academics, social dynamics, and personal growth. This is one of the biggest times where a student can find more of themselves, and for some it is a struggle for their mental health. This is a pivotal time when their mental health is put to the test. With increasing demands and pressures that students typically face, maintaining mental well-being becomes a crucial aspect of their high-school journey


High-school students often find themselves in a path of mental instability. Between the relentless pursuit of good grades, the upcoming college applications, SAT and ACT testing, and the desire to fit in with peers can take a toll on a young student’s mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), in young adults from ages 12-17, approximately 1 in 5 (20%) youth live with some type of mental illness. One in six youth experienced a major depressive episode (MDE). Three million had serious thoughts of suicide, and there has been a 31% increase in mental health-related emergency department visits. These statistics highlight the prevalence of mental health concerns among high-school students.


One of the fundamental ways high-school students maintain their mental health is through self-care. Self-care encompasses various practices, such as getting enough sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, and regular exercise. By prioritizing these aspects of self-care, students are better equipped to cope with stress, anxiety, and high-school. Establishing routines that allow time for relaxation and personal interests can provide a sense of balance and control over their complex lives.


Recognizing the need for support is another vital aspect of maintaining mental health. High-school students should feel comfortable seeking support from trusted adults, friends, or mental health professionals. Open conversations about mental health can help destigmatize the topic, making it easier for students to reach out when they need assistance. Guidance counselors and psychologists can be valuable resources for students who require professional support.

Balancing academics and well-being is a crucial skill that high-school students must develop. Effective time management, goal setting, and study strategies help reduce the academic pressure. The ability to maintain a healthy balance between school responsibilities and personal life allows students to enjoy their high-school experiences while avoiding burnout.


Peer pressure and social challenges are integral components of high-school life. Students often face situations where they must make difficult decisions, and these experiences can impact their mental health. Building a strong social network—including friends, family, and mentors—can provide a safety net during challenging times. Developing resilience in the face of social conflicts and bullying is essential, and knowing when to seek help is equally important.


In conclusion, maintaining mental health is a vital aspect of a high-school student’s life. The pressures and challenges they face can be daunting, but with the right strategies and support systems in place, students can navigate their high-school years successfully while preserving their mental well-being. By recognizing the importance of self-care, seeking support when needed, and practicing mindfulness, high-school students can not only survive, but thrive in the jungle gym that is high-school.

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About the Contributor
Ben Ryan
Ben Ryan, Staff Writer
Ben Ryan is a junior at Fillmore Central High School. At 16 years old, he does many events, such as tapestry, choir, jazz band, band, one act, speech, spring play, and trap shooting. He recently started pursuing photography using his sister’s photo camera. He also enjoys working on vehicles and his father's old motorcycle. After high school, he hopes to pursue a business degree and open up his own bakery in Colorado with one of his friends. Ben loves to spend time in the arts and help with tech at school events.
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