Mental health is important for students because it affects their ability to learn, socialize, and function in all areas of their lives. Students with good mental health are better able to focus, concentrate, and retain information. They are also more likely to be engaged in school and to have positive relationships with their peers and teachers.
Research shows that maintaining good mental health is associated with increased learning, creativity and productivity, and positive social relationships, and with improved physical health and life expectancy. Students who prioritize mental health are more likely to succeed academically, emotionally, and socially, setting them up for a fulfilling and successful future.
According to a survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 55% of mental health issues start by age 14 and three quarters start by age 24. Students develop mental health issues while they are still in high school. The earlier mental illness is diagnosed and treated, the better. Understanding and prioritizing student mental health has now become critical than ever.
Mental health care matters a lot for students. Let’s discover why stronger mental health is important for students and how students with optimum mental health can better participate in school and improve their academic performance.
Benefits Of Stronger Mental Health For Students
Mental health is of utmost importance for students due to the following reasons, including:
Excellent Academic Performance
Good mental health positively influences students’ ability to concentrate, retain information, focus, and learn. It enhances cognitive functioning, memory, and problem-solving skills, thereby improving academic performance.
Mental health plays a vital role in students’ emotional well-being. Students with greater emotional stability can better manage stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges effectively. Emotional well-being promotes resilience, self-confidence, and a positive mindset, enabling students to effectively deal with stressful situations.
Build Social Relationships
Healthy mental health enables students to develop and maintain positive relationships with peers, teachers, and family members. It enhances their social skills, empathy, and communication skills, fostering healthy and meaningful connections and reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Students with good mental health are more likely to engage in personal growth activities, such as pursuing hobbies, setting goals, and exploring their interests. This fosters self-discovery, self-expression, and a sense of purpose, contributing to their overall development. In short, mental well-being allows students to explore their interests, talents, and passions, leading to personal growth and self-fulfillment.
Better Stress Management
Student life often involves significant stressors, such as academic pressures, exams, assignment deadlines and social challenges. Maintaining good mental health allows students to cope with and overcome these stressors in an effective manner.
Prioritizing mental health during student years lays the foundation for long-term well-being. Students who prioritize mental health are more likely to develop healthy coping mechanisms, self-care habits, and resilience that benefit them throughout their lives, including in their personal and professional endeavors.
Reasons Why Students Suffer From Poor Mental Health
- Academic pressure
- Peer pressure
- Lack of exercise
- Family issues
- Poor dietary habits
Consequences Students Face Due To Poor Mental Health
Many students experience poor mental health due to a variety of reasons and deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and aggressive behavior. Mental health problems can have a significant negative impact on a student’s academic performance. Students with mental health problems may be distracted, may experience difficulty concentrating, remembering information, and completing assignments. They may also be more likely to miss school, drop out, and engage in risky behaviors.
Warning Signs Of Mental Health Issues
There are a number of obvious warning signs that clearly indicate that students are struggling with their mental health issues.
- Feeling very sad
- Unable to Concentrate
- Low Retention Ability
- Less Engagement
- Low Motivation Levels
- Less social Growth
- Poor Academic Performance
- Seeing and believing things that are not real
- Trying to harm yourself and others
- Excessive use of drugs and alcohol
- Drastic change in mood, behavior and sleeping habits
- Intense worries or fear
- Significant weight loss or gain
If you notice any of these symptoms, chances are you are suffering from mental illness. Talk to your parents, friend, teacher, counselor, healthcare professional or other trusted adult about how you are feeling. Ask questions about how to overcome these stressful situations.
If left untreated, mental health concerns will get worse. It can lead to dangerous outcomes, such as self-harm, substance use and in some cases, suicide. Timely detection and treatment, meeting mental health needs, awareness and support can help students achieve greater mental health.
Common Mental Illnesses in Students
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 6 children aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder. Here is a list of some common mental health disorders.
- Depressive disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
How Can Students Achieve Optimum Mental Health?
Students can improve their mental health by taking following steps:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Spending time with friends and family
- Practicing relaxation techniques
- Seeking professional help if needed
- Building a support network of trusted people
- Take special care of your overall health
- Take adequate sleep
- Eat nutrient dense foods
- Pursuing your favorite hobbies
Mental Health Tips For Students
Mental health is crucial for students as it significantly impacts their overall wellbeing, academic performance, and future success. Here are some useful tips for students who are struggling with their mental health:
Get Professional Help
Seeking professional help is one of the best coping strategies that will help you deal with stress, especially if you are studying in a medical school. Many medical schools provide mental health support and have in place mental health professionals, psychiatrists, and counselors available that can help students to manage anxiety. These professionals increase mental health awareness among students and guide them on how to deal with the academic pressure.
Campus counselors also guide students to maintain their mental health throughout the medical school journey. They provide students with important resources and tools to manage their mental and emotional well-being. Seeking mental health services will improve your motivation level and solve your mental health issues, which will eventually improve your academic performance.
Mediation is a practice of focusing on the present moment and promoting a sense of awareness. The ultimate goal of mediation is to promote a feeling of relaxation and maintain your inner peace. According to several studies, it has been proven that meditation can improve mental health and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Practicing meditation can help you manage negative emotions and allows you to cope with anger and fear. Medical school stress can have a direct impact on your GPA. Therefore, managing stress is critically important for your overall health. Practicing meditation is a great choice for medical students that allows them to not only improve their mental wellbeing but also improve their concentration and memory. Students should practice mediation to reduce the feelings of stress and become a successful student.
Cold exposure can have a significant impact on mental health, and cold tub therapy offers unique benefits in this regard. Cold exposure stimulates the release of endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” hormones. These endorphins can help elevate mood, reduce stress, and promote a sense of well-being. Cold tub therapy can also improve mental clarity and focus, as the cold temperature stimulates alertness and enhances cognitive function. Incorporating cold exposure through cold tubs into your mental health routine can provide a refreshing and invigorating experience, promoting overall mental wellness.
Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
Spending time with your loved ones provides you with strong emotional support and improves your ability to face difficult challenges. If you are feeling depressed, it is advised to spend more time with your family and friends. When you receive positive attention and are involved in productive activities, you will feel better.
Make Time For Yourself
Students have a jam-packed study schedule. From taking back-to-back classes to completing assignments, preparing for exams, and juggling family responsibilities, students are under a lot of academic pressure. Many students find it extremely difficult to set aside time for self-care.
Self-care is a practice of taking care of yourself and following behaviors that make you happy and promote your overall health. According to several studies, self-care is highly beneficial for maintaining your mental health and wellbeing. Students can academically perform better when they take care of themselves. For instance, you can make time for small acts that can create a positive impact on your life.
For instance, you can go for a walk, watch your favorite TV show, organize your room, cook your favorite food, listen to podcasts, read a book, do some exercise, and get adequate sleep. Making time for yourself is a great approach to improve your mental and physical health.
Eat Healthy Foods To Improve Your Mental Health
Foods play a key role in maintaining your physical and mental health, productivity, and academic performance. Eating healthy and right food choices can have a positive impact on your cognitive development, emotional health and learning ability. By fueling your mind with healthy foods, you can improve your mental learning performance twofold. Students who are well-nourished have a higher learning potential and great ability to concentrate compared to those who are malnourished.
So, good nutrition is important for optimum mental health and ensuring outstanding academic performance. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, and other healthy foods that are good for your brain health.
Do Regular Exercise
According to several studies, it has been shown that there is a strong connection between the brain and exercise. Doing aerobic exercises can improve your brain health, improve alertness, focus, and motivation. It increases your learning ability, memory and makes retaining important information easier.
Studying is a challenge for many students while keeping a perfect balance between study, work, and life. Students face enormous stress during their school journey, including academic pressure and workload. Taking time for workout can improve your physical and mental health and academic performance. Exercise maintains you’re emotional and physical wellbeing, alleviates anxiety, depression and increases concentration.
How Can Schools Play Their Roles In Spreading Mental Health Awareness?
Schools can also play a role in promoting mental health by providing students with access to resources and support. This may include offering counseling services, providing information about mental health, and creating a supportive school environment. Schools should prioritize students’ mental health by creating an environment that improves students’ overall wellbeing. This includes providing access to mental health resources, counseling services, stress management programs, and promoting a culture that values emotional wellbeing.
If you are suffering from any mental illness, remember you are not alone. Many students struggle with their mental health, and there is help available. Keep in mind that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. By taking care of your mental health, you can improve your overall wellbeing and achieve success in school and professional life.