School can be very difficult sometimes and not always in an academic way. A lot goes on at school apart from learning, something that can be considered more important… growing. We all grow during our years as children and teenagers, our bodies change and so does our brain. Our brains have to mature and during our high school years, we can be very vulnerable to things happening around us.
During teenage years there is a lot of pressure and stress put on to students in regards to homework, family, friends, even things like drugs and alcohol. All this pressure can lead to confusion and take over our brains. This is when friends are needed to step in and make sure everything is okay.
Over the last few years, I have stood beside a number of my friends through very hard times. Sometimes, however, you don’t even know if someone is going through a challenging time. Some people like to keep their struggles private and not show their true emotions.
Students at school can seem happy all the time when really they are struggling and going through a tough time. I have recently had a friend who seemed happy nearly 100% of the time but in the last few months, I had noticed a slight difference in their behaviour. I asked if they were okay and they informed me that they weren’t. Other friends and I then took action immediately to make sure they were in the best of hands. We spoke to our school counsellor who then had a chat and made sure they were all good. This was an important step we took to ensure their mental health and safety was okay.
Ensuring those around us are healthy and safe is an important responsibility that we should all be aware of, no matter how old we are, the job we have, or where we live. There is no excuse for not looking after friends, family and even those who might not be that close to us. If someone you know seems a little off colour are you’re wondering how they are doing, ask them. There is no harm in speaking to a counsellor, psychologist or a trusted adult about your own mental health or others!
‘RUOK’ is a great organisation promoting how important it is to make sure those around us are mentally healthy. They also hold a national day (RUOK Day) which will is on the 14th of September this year.