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Impact of Depression on a Teenager’s High School Education

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Introduction:

A survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that “worryingly high numbers of Australian university and TAFE students are stressed and anxious”[footnoteRef:1]. This may be due to a lack of coverage in high school. The agency Headspace, which provides free counselling sessions to 12-25-year old’s, has released the results of the survey, amongst a very useful article about mental health. Headspace aims to guide teenagers to a healthy mental health state through the utilization of counselling sessions during their most influential and important years. The aim of this research is to discover; “How does depression impact a teenager’s high school education?”. The research presented in this investigation has been gathered through the use of primary and secondary sources. [1: Headspace.org.au. (2019). Majority of Aussie students stressed, depressed | headspace. [online] Available at: https://headspace.org.au/blog/majority-of-aussie-students-stressed-depressed/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019].]

Body:

This unfortunate mental illness; depression, can leave a wide impact on the person suffering this condition. Depression strongly changes our thought processes, including how we view ourselves and our future. People suffering from depression have their state of mind altered, viewing everything differently.[footnoteRef:2] This is clearly a problem as it would be very upsetting to believe things that are untrue about yourself. Young Australian teenagers are experiencing high stress levels due to school, which can leave destructive impressions on their academic performance and especially, their mental health.[footnoteRef:3] According to The Sydney Morning Harold (2019) based on the OECD average, 67 percent of Australian students report feeling very anxious even if well prepared for a test. High levels of pressure and stress caused by school can lead to anxiety which can often lead to depression, it shows how detrimental school can be to a teenager’s mental health. [2: Beyondblue.org.au. (2019). Beyond Blue. [online] Available at: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression/what-causes-depression [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].] [3: Pascoe, M. (2019). Nearly half of Australian school kids are stressed. Here’s how to fix it.. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/nearly-half-of-australian-school-kids-are-stressed-heres-how-to-fix-it-20180126-h0omvq.html [Accessed 14 Nov. 2019].]

Depression not only impacts the person experiencing it but also the community around them. When a student suffering from depression is absent from school, it leaves an impact on not only their education but their teachers and school friends. Mood swings can be a symptom of depression, and it can cause family problems if their family doesn’t understand. If someone suffering from depression has a job, and call’s up saying they can’t come into work often, it will leave a negative image for the employer and cause many issues in the workplace.

Headspace is an agency which supports young teenagers up until young adulthood with free or low-cost counselling sessions. The organisation aims to guide support to people in the most crucial years of their life, as more than 75% of mental health issues form before the age of 25. Headspace aims to support these people and get them back on track to strengthen their ability to manage mental health issues in the future. Two strategies have been discovered through interviews held by headspace employees to increase awareness of mental health literacy. These are; community engagement and national branding activities.[footnoteRef:4] [4: Headspace.org.au. (2019). [online] Available at: https://headspace.org.au/assets/Uploads/Evaluation-of-headspace-program.pdf [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].]

I have seen many headspace ads on my Facebook and Instagram accounts that have provided a small insight to what headspace offers, there have also been some posters about headspace in the councillor’s office at my school.

The figure above shows the “Percentage of headspace clients who considered suicide in the last year, by K10 change and intervention survey wave” and the increase or decrease due to the effect of help from headspace. As suicidal thoughts can be a symptom of depression, this information is relevant in helping provide an understanding of how headspace has helped people ages 12-25 years old.

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These two statements have been said by people who have been going to headspace to help cope with their mental health issues. They have been found through the “Final report of the independent evaluation of the headspace program”.[footnoteRef:5] [5: Headspace.org.au. (2019). [online] Available at: https://headspace.org.au/assets/Uploads/Evaluation-of-headspace-program.pdf [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].]

Here is what they had to say:

There is a common relation between the two that shows how headspace uses techniques and coping mechanisms that involve looking at things differently, and accepting that it is normal to feel things, but taking them down can be easy with help and assistance.

A healthy well-being is very important in allowing someone live their life to the fullest. Mental health has many different factors including emotional, psychological and social well-being.[footnoteRef:6] Maintaining someone’s health and well-being is important for them and the communities around them. Maintaining a steady mental health as opposed to an unsteady mental health is crucial as a consistent pattern of good health helps us function better, exercise our coping skills and keep a positive self-esteem.[footnoteRef:7] Regaining someone’s mental health after a rough patch in their life is also very important for the same reasons. [6: Think Mental Health. (2019). Maintaining mental health and wellbeing. [online] Available at: https://www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au/about-mental-health-wellbeing/ways-to-look-after-your-mental-health/maintaining-mental-health-and-wellbeing/ [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].] [7: Think Mental Health. (2019). Maintaining mental health and wellbeing. [online] Available at: https://www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au/about-mental-health-wellbeing/ways-to-look-after-your-mental-health/maintaining-mental-health-and-wellbeing/ [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].]

Conclusion:

I believe schools should really help students more considering a lot of students experience depression as a cause of school stress. This could be done by being more flexible with students who are clearly struggling, by offering more extensive support, or more awareness should be brought onto the situation. This could mean making health/ mental health a compulsory subject from year 8 through to year 11 (as year twelve is important for UNI those subjects should be chosen).

I really do feel strong remorse for these people suffering from depression, feeling alone can be so scary so not receiving the appropriate support and right amount could really change the outcome for that person. I think this would be such an unfortunate situation to fall into as it can last from a week to years to a whole lifetime living in a depression.

Bibliography:

  1. Blackdoginstitute.org.au. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/default-source/factsheets/facts_figures.pdf?sfvrsn=8 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  2. Headspace.org.au. (2019). [online] Available at: https://headspace.org.au/assets/Uploads/Evaluation-of-headspace-program.pdf [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  3. OECD iLibrary. (2019). Are students happy? | READ online. [online] Available at: https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/are-students-happy_3512d7ae-en#page2 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  4. ABC News. (2019). Beautiful Failures: How the education system is making kids stressed and sick. [online] Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-17/beautiful-failures-education-making-kids-sick/7589084 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  5. Beyondblue.org.au. (2019). Beyond Blue. [online] Available at: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression/what-causes-depression [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  6. Education.sa.gov.au. (2019). Depression | Department for Education. [online] Available at: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/supporting-students/health-e-safety-and-wellbeing/health-support-planning/managing-health-education-and-care/neurodiversity/depression [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  7. Headspace.org.au. (2019). Majority of Aussie students stressed, depressed | headspace. [online] Available at: https://headspace.org.au/blog/majority-of-aussie-students-stressed-depressed/ [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  8. Abs.gov.au. (2019). Mental Health – Australian Bureau of Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.abs.gov.au/Mental-Health [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  9. About.au.reachout.com. (2019). Parents – ReachOut@ExamTime to beat study stress | About ReachOut Australia. [online] Available at: https://about.au.reachout.com/parents-reach-out-at-exam-time-to-beat-study-stress-2017/ [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  10. Pascoe, M. (2019). Nearly half of Australian school kids are stressed. Here’s how to fix it.. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/nearly-half-of-australian-school-kids-are-stressed-heres-how-to-fix-it-20180126-h0omvq.html [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].
  11. Pascoe, M. (2019). Nearly half of Australian school kids are stressed. Here’s how to fix it.. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/nearly-half-of-australian-school-kids-are-stressed-heres-how-to-fix-it-20180126-h0omvq.html [Accessed 18 Nov. 2019].

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Impact of Depression on a Teenager’s High School Education. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-depression-on-a-teenagers-high-school-education/
“Impact of Depression on a Teenager’s High School Education.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-depression-on-a-teenagers-high-school-education/
Impact of Depression on a Teenager’s High School Education. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-depression-on-a-teenagers-high-school-education/> [Accessed 2 Feb. 2023].
Impact of Depression on a Teenager’s High School Education [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Feb 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-depression-on-a-teenagers-high-school-education/
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