October 4, 2020
Some students, like Loveland, have been finding their own methods outside of school to help themselves throughout the pandemic, and wish there were more conversations about mental health at school.
“I never really talked with anyone from the school, just because I had my own support system. I feel like there definitely are people at school that students can talk to, if needed for mental health,” Loveland said. ”There’s not enough people to advocate for mental health in our school, there are programs like the Change to Chill Program, but I feel like even that got abused a little bit.”
King said Park is offering many resources that students can use to get the support they need.
“We offer individual counseling sessions, our social workers are available to work with students and some of our social workers run support groups along various topics,” King said.
Loveland has also found ways to stay motivated and productive, and said there are other resources that can be helpful to Park students as she also struggles during this unfortunate time. She recommends finding ways to study outside of the house, and with friends if done safely.
“I found ways where I can do school with my friends. Once every couple weeks there’s a learning space kind of thing that Penny’s has in Linden Hills that you can use.”
According to junior Semona Robel, it’s vital to reach out to someone you love and trust when you find yourself struggling, not only for your sake, but theirs as well.
“The most important thing is making sure that you’re reaching out to the people that you love, whether that be just sending a quick text that says ‘I’m here for you’, or an hour-long FaceTime or a socially distanced hangout session.”
There are other resources students can seek outside of the school like online therapy sessions, Loveland said.
“I see professional therapists and psychiatrists, and they use telehealth, which is what a lot of therapists and doctors are using right now to communicate with their patients, which is really nice, just to keep those connections going,” Loveland said.
Robel said she encourages students to reach out to someone they feel comfortable with, she said it is important to be there for each other especially since students can’t be together as much as they would like.
“It’s really important to just show other people that you care for them, because it’s really easy to forget that when we’re not together,” Robel said.
Loveland said it is beneficial to communicate with your friends often, and listen to what they have to say.
“Your friends care about you, and they’re not gonna change how they think about you if you tell them what you’re going through, because most likely they’re going through something of their own,” Loveland said.
Art by Jaida Puentes