Mental health resources available for students

Jake Oeck
Staff Writer

With all of the stress of COVID, politics, and daily teen life these days, mental health is more important than ever.  Often times we don’t think of it as something we need to check on like we do with physical health but this is definitely not true.  Suffering in silence—no matter what the cause may be—is not a healthy way to live and will not fix whatever is going on.  At Sandy High School, we have counselors who are here to help.

“The three areas we [counselors] try to support students in is academics, the second is social emotional, and the third area is post-secondary planning,” said Lexi Vuylsteke, a counselor at Sandy High.  If any student needs help in any of these areas, their counselor’s office is always open.

“We’ve helped students most commonly this year with anxiety and try to help them work through that, and also just overall wellness.  You definitely don’t need to have like a diagnosed issue.  It can be anything.  Friend stuff, boyfriend/girlfriend, we talk about family stuff a lot, anything really,” Vuylsteke said.  Being able to talk about mental health and potentially the hard things that wear on mental health is important.

Unfortunately, without any training or knowledge of the warning signs of bad mental health, it can be confusing and difficult to tell if a friend needs help.  The most important thing is to be aware of and take notice of potential signs should they be present.

“Changes in behavior.  Say your friend is always pretty happy-go-lucky and all of a sudden you notice they seem irritable and snapping and something is happening for longer than one or two days.  Or if you notice they’re not eating anymore.  Or if they stop sleeping or start sleeping a lot.  Those kind of big changes are all things to definitely be aware of,” Vuylsteke said. 

Being aware of the signs and noticing them in yourself and others is important to catching depression early and being able to help people work through it. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide and needs to talk to someone right now call the National Suicide Prevention hotline.  It’s 800-273-8255.  And if you would like someone to talk about that or anything mental health related, utilize the counselors at SHS who are here to help.  They can talk to you as much as you need and even help you get connected with long term counseling if that is necessary.  Remember you aren’t alone and there are resources that can help.

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