By Emma Gottsegen
We are all familiar with the concept of stress; it’s practically in our day-to-day vocabulary. With academics, friends, sports and clubs, our schedules are at their extremes—extremes that are not healthy. Luckily, a new committee, the Social-Emotional Committee (name still unofficial), has formed to help students cope with stress and other mental concerns.
At Mamaroneck High School we have seen a rise in the number of students suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. Although the increase is worrying, the SEC aims to prevent stressors that could cause an even larger increase in mental health problems. Composed of teachers, counselors, students and parents, this group hopes not to eliminate stress from our lives, but to learn how to deal with it effectively. Gaining knowledge on how to cope with stress is essential—we must not ignore its presence.
When I talked with Principal Elizabeth Clain about the SEC, she emphasized the significance of our community as a whole, saying that “We are a very forward look- ing district.” Keeping this in mind, the SEC aspires to help students who are dealing with mental illness and teach them methods of alleviating them. She then went on to express that awareness is crucial when dealing with mental illness, and mindfulness is vital to a stu- dent’s mental health.
Over the past couple of months numerous articles have been written–several in the New York Times–about overloading a student’s schedule and how this affects mental health. Vicki Abeles, an author and filmmaker, says “Expectations surrounding education have spun out of control. On top of a seven-hour school day, our kids march through hours of nightly homework, daily sports practices and band rehearsals, and weekend-consuming assignments and tournaments.” In addition, Abeles believes that “this drive for success is eroding children’s health and undermining their potential.”
Abeles is spot-on in her concerns, which apply to many MHS students. Fortunately, the SEC will be working hard to solve the serious threats to students’ mental health.
Photo courtesy of albanianjournalism.com