Possible changes push to improve mental health at WCHS


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Students in high schools around the country are opening up about how they are feeling and about their mental health to help those around them.

By Anna Kronthal, Opinions Editor

A high school teacher from San Francisco has gone viral after making a poster that allows students to indicate how they are feeling mentally with colorful post-it notes. This innovative type of mental check-in begs the question: would something like this be beneficial at WCHS?

High-school teacher Erin Castillo made a poster with different sections ranging from “I’m great!” to “I’m struggling” and “I am having a hard time and wouldn’t mind a check-in” for students to respond to by placing a post-it note on. To ensure anonymity, each student wrote their name on the back of their note. After the post went viral on social media, many high school teachers are now following suit.

“I think something like this could definitely work at WCHS,” said junior Maya Thamer-Nall. “Our school can be an overly stressful environment for students, and just seeing that others are struggling too might help them to know that they are not alone.”

“As a school we don’t really touch that much on mental health and having a way to check-in could really help students that need to reach out to someone but do not know how,” said Thamer-Nall.

According to the World Health Statistics Data, suicide is the second leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years old and according to a new report conducted by BlueCross, teen depression rates are continuously rising.

“I think that this type of poster could make WCHS a more comfortable environment for a lot of kids,” said junior Riley McGuire.

However, as with any other approach addressing mental health, a teacher planning on incorporating this kind of project into their own classroom would need to be extremely careful.

“The only thing that I could see being a problem of having this at WCHS is that the student’s names are on the back of their post-it notes,” said junior Memounah Khadar.

“If students were to turn the post-it notes over to see which people were struggling, they could become targets of bullying. Or even if a post-it note were to fall off the poster, revealing a student’s name, it could cause them to be humiliated. I think it’s a great idea—we would just need to be cautious of student’s identities,” said Khadar.

But all in all, the positives of implementing this at WCHS outweigh the negatives. For any teachers looking to provide students with help or a person to talk to regarding mental health, they should seriously consider a poster like Castillo’s.

“This would really help kids feel like they don’t have to bottle up their emotions at school,” said McGuire.