Mental illness is a common problem not being addressed as it should

Mental illness is more common today than ever before, and people are beginning to talk about it more openly. Though the stigmas are slowing disappearing, there’s still an air of uncertainty and judgment around topics of mental illness. It can be extra difficult for your child if they are experiencing mental health issues during their high school years. The National Association of Secondary School Principals shared that, “A U.S. Surgeon General report indicates that one in five children and adolescents will face a significant mental health condition during their school years. Mental health disorders affecting children and adolescents can range from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to autism, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and others.” They go on to explain that traditional schools face certain obstacles to addressing mental illness issues, such as a shortage of school counselors, limited funding, and mental health and suicide stigmas.

Social Media and Mental Illness

Social media has more negative results than positive

Teens and social media go hand in hand these days, and chances are, your teen spends more time on social media than they should. Though it has its benefits, overuse of social media can have a negative effect on teenagers’ mental health. “Results from a…study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine showed that the more time young adults spent on social media, the more likely they were to have problems sleeping and report symptoms of depression.” Examples of destructive behaviors learned from too much time on social media are:

  • “Focusing on likes: The need to gain “likes” on social media can cause teens to make choices they would otherwise not make, including altering their appearance, engaging in negative behaviors, and accepting risky social media challenges.
  • Cyberbullying: Teens girls, in particular, are at risk of cyberbullying through use of social media, but teen boys are not immune. Cyberbullying is associated with depression, anxiety, and an elevated risk of suicidal thoughts.
  • Making comparisons: Though many teens know that their peers share only their highlight reels on social media, it’s very difficult to avoid making comparisons. Everything from physical appearance to life circumstances to perceived successes and failures are under a microscope on social media.
  • Having too many fake friends: Even with privacy settings in place, teens can collect thousands of friends through friends of friends on social media. The more people on the friend list, the more people have access to screenshot photos, Snaps, and updates and use them for other purposes. There is no privacy on social media.
  • Less face time: Social interaction skills require daily practice, even for teens. It’s difficult to build empathy and compassion when teens spend more time “engaging” online than they do in person. Human connection is a powerful tool and builds skills that last a lifetime.”

How Online Schooling Can Help

Online classes could be the answer for your child

Leaving the traditional high school system and studying online can be a great solution for students who are having mental health issues. Dealing with anxiety and depression is hard enough without the added pressures of deadlines, peer pressure, and a strict daily schedule. Online high school courses give students the opportunity to spend more time with supportive friends and family, meet with a therapist at a convenient time, and focus on learning at their own pace. When your teenager is home more, you’ll have a chance to share mental health tips with them that could make a difference for their future. “By talking about mental health, parents can reduce stigma and let children know it is okay to pursue treatment. The earlier your college student seeks help for a mental health problem, the more quickly he or she will recover.” Additionally, your teen may have more opportunities to experience in-person human connection by getting a job, taking music lessons, or participating in sports that they now have time for since they’re not in a traditional school setting. If you aren’t sure where to start in addressing their mental illness, use this guide to mental health and education resources for kids and teens.

High School of America

Slowing down and escaping traditional systems can foster better relationships

When you’ve decided that online high school is a great way to help your child, whether they have been diagnosed with a mental illness or not, finding an accredited option like the High School of America is wise. Most colleges recognize accredited online schools and your student will be able to get their diploma at graduation, just like any traditional high school. Enrollment is available year-round with several payment plan options, and you can complete courses on your own time. Our high-quality staff and student portal are available to help your student whenever they need it. Start focusing on what’s most important in life and help your child find happiness and healing through an online high school environment. We are confident that the High School of America is an excellent choice. Contact us today to learn more and begin the application process!

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