Opinion: Mason’s mental health training deserves to roll out to everyone

Shravani Page | Staff Writer

Mason has had its fair share of mental health-related issues.

And Mason has done a lot to help students combat them. 

They’ve allocated more resources and even trained teachers and a small group of students in suicide prevention. They’ve developed numerous connections with Cincinnati Children’s, the Lindner Center of Hope, and organizations such as MindPeace. We have therapy dogs and relaxation rooms now. The school is endeavoring to give us students that sense of comfort.

However, there are still students who find themselves amid a mental health crisis.

As much as Mason has done to provide students with resources, they haven’t managed to provide many students with the proper training needed to guide themselves or others. A diminutive percentage of students in the building has been equipped with this training.

Having students involved is a great idea, but why just a small number of them?

Being properly trained to tackle a mental-health crisis is an important, life-long skill. Having those resources on you, knowing what to do, can truly help save a life. 

Numerous students struggle, and it can be incredibly hard to detect when someone is struggling. It’s almost normalized now. When I finally opened up to some of my close friends about my struggles, I found a lot of their responses consistent. 

It was always “I knew something seemed off, but I didn’t know how I could talk to you about it. I didn’t know what I could say or who to tell.”

Now, I’m not saying I was necessarily looking for anyone to help me, and in typical teenage fashion, I refrained from asking for help.

That’s why Mason still seems to be internally trapped in this cycle. It’s hard to reach out. 

Students are more likely to approach their close peers and trusted adults than a separate student they may not know who is “certified” to help them. We are more liable to trust those we are close with, right? 

This isn’t me dismissing any of the school’s groups. In fact, I’m even a part of some of them. And this isn’t me complaining about Mason not doing anything about arising mental health concerns. The school has supported me through my hardships which is something I will forever be grateful for. 

However, the mental health of many of our students is at a rapid decline. 

Most students don’t reach out to the school directly, many of them reach out to their friends or peers who may not know what to do in the situation. The only reason I genuinely feel capable of being able to “help” or guide someone else is that I’ve been in a similar place. I’ve equipped myself with resources to do my part because I don’t want another student to feel what many of us have felt.

Yes, we have made so much progress but we have to start educating the entire student population about how to respond. We have to start giving them the option to take the time to learn basic skills, responses, and coping mechanisms. 

We all have the same goal here. 

We want our students to do their best, we want them to be happy, we want them to be independent, and we want them to become the best versions of themselves they can be. 

And we can only do this if we give them what they need: by providing the entire student body, not just a select group of students, with the training to help themselves and each other.