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HHS takes on mental health

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HHS takes on mental health

Senior Nicole Wasylak waits outside Student Assistance Counselor Gil Pilarte's office.

Senior Nicole Wasylak waits outside Student Assistance Counselor Gil Pilarte's office.

by Christopher M. Smith

Senior Nicole Wasylak waits outside Student Assistance Counselor Gil Pilarte's office.

by Christopher M. Smith

by Christopher M. Smith

Senior Nicole Wasylak waits outside Student Assistance Counselor Gil Pilarte's office.

Christopher M. Smith, Staff writer

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Being in the midst of adulthood and youth can make any teenager feel a little crazy at times. Trust me, you are not alone. Mental health issues are something every teenager goes through, but not everyone knows how to cope with these confusing thoughts and emotions. Having a mental illness is not something to be embarrassed about and it is never too early to seek help. It is also important not to forget that having a mental illness does not have to be permanent.

The Teen Mental Health Organization’s research explains that 1 in every 5 people suffer mental illness. However, only 4% of the healthcare budget is spent on American citizens’ mental health, when 20% of the population is actually affected.

The school provides various resources for students to turn to, if conflicted with mental health issues. The Student Assistant Counselors are certified and trained in dealing with any problems teenagers may face. Aside from the many counselors, there is the lunch brunch where people can go during their lunch period. The objective is to have a period away from the rest of the school, giving students time to de-stress. Organizations such as peer mentoring, R.E.B.E.L, and Student Leadership Corps have done school wide initiatives to improve the overall mental health of the student body.

The main organization that focuses on student’s psychological state is the Sources of Strength Club. This club has taken action to alleviate what students could potentially be going through. It is one of the first suicide prevention programs that uses peer leaders to enhance anything that can prevent suicide. In doing so, the club strives to bring a smile on every student’s face, no matter what their mental state is. It is run by school psychiatrist Dr. Pat Colontino, student assistance counselor Gil Pilarte, and guidance counselor Richa Trikha.

Additionally, Caryn Brogan’s Government and Politics class has attempted to help in its way. Project citizen has guided the class through the procedure of making a difference in the school. The topic they chose was reducing mental illnesses. Brogan’s students have presented various ideas to our administration in order to bring an effective change concerning mental health. The goal of this project is to improve awareness of this issue, and create a safer school environment.

Senior Nicole Waslyak spoke about her involvement. “It is a blessing that I’ve been given the opportunity to create change in HHS for my fellow peers,” Wasylak said. “Mental health is a topic that should be increased in our curriculum.” 

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Christopher M. Smith, Staff writer

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HHS takes on mental health