Teen mental illness demands solution

Grants awarded to districts for mental health awareness

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Teen mental illness demands solution

Abby Intveld

The increasing stress of high school and new pressures set by society have to lead to a proliferation of mental illnesses among my generation. Despite this, we still lack sufficient mental health services to combat the rising epidemic.

In response to this problem, the Minnesota Department of Health granted $5 billion to various intermediate specialty school districts across the state to go towards mental health services, according to the Star Tribune.

I applaud Minnesota for taking this impressive stride toward helping those with mental health issues. The individual grants awarded will help countless students in the five districts the money will go, aiding those with trauma and other ailments.

Schools are the perfect outlet to provide mental health services — virtually all communities have schools and students are there approximately six hours a day. Having these mental health services in close proximity to teenagers at any available time is essential to combat the statistics our country is facing.

Despite Minnesota’s grants, mental health is still a prevalent issue and this one allocation of money will not fix it. More states must provide mental health services in support of students across the nation.

Roughly 1 in 5 youth ages 13-18 suffer from a mental health condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Despite this staggering fact, according to Teen Mental Health, only 4 percent of the total U.S. health care budget is spent on people’s mental health.

It is unacceptable that these conditions, which affect such a large portion of the population, have little support from the government. There is much more than can be done, Minnesota’s actions being one example.

We must make mental health care a priority in the U.S., especially among teenagers because, when it goes uncared for, it can affect much of their future. According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, 37 percent of students with a mental health condition age 14 and older drop out of school. This compared to the national rate of 25 percent of students dropping out proves how imperative support for students with mental illnesses is.

Though it is a cliche, teenagers are the future. We need to take action in providing adequate support, so they can continue on past high school and be our future. States across the U.S. must follow in Minnesota’s footsteps and provide schools with the opportunity to help their students.

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