By Alyssa Mink
Increasing social and scholastic pressure can make students more anxious and depressed. They sometimes feel as though they aren’t capable of meeting the expectations set for them by peers, teachers, and family. Depression in students can set off a domino effect on the student’s life and can have severe impacts on their future if it goes untreated for too long. Most students with depression don’t retain the material being taught in class despite any of their efforts and often times their grades suffer. When the student’s grades start to drop, they become discouraged and they will usually give up in their classes which becomes a negative catalyst in their life. Around 2.8 million youth suffer from one or more major depressive episode in a given year.
Teachers are trained on how to deal with disruptive students, slow learning students, and students with common disorders such as ADHD; however, many don’t know what to do when it comes to students battling depression and anxiety. Most teachers are able to identify a student that is going through depression but there seem to be no set guidelines on how to help them. Some teachers just assume that the apathy and lack of material retention is typical of high schoolers and ignore the problem while others try to talk to the student one on one. Of course the best thing for the student will have to be determined on an individual basis but most kids just want to know that someone has their back especially in the academic world. Teachers should try to create a comfortable environment where the student feels like they have a safe space to talk and heal without a time limit because they won’t be cured overnight. Struggling students shouldn’t be ignored, they should be encouraged to participate in class even when they don’t seem to want to participate. It’s important to not give up on students because the people they have at school could be their only active support system.
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