Mental Health at Yamhill Carlton High School

Kierah Kavicky, Feature Editor

Mental illness affects many people all over the world. During and after puberty, teenagers can be affected more by events, therefore being more at risk for mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI), 1 in 5 children between ages 13 and 18 have, or will have a serious mental illness. Mental illness also can lead a person to suicide, in fact 90% of those who commit suicide had an underlying mental illness.

In Oregon alone, 1 in 9 children suffer from mental illness according to Lifeline Connections. So, how are students attending Yamhill Carlton High School affected by mental health?

Adelaide Robison, a senior at YC, is doing her senior project on the mental health of YC by conducting anonymous polls about individual’s mental health. When asked about the amount of students affected by mental illness, Robison found, “35% said that they had(been affected by mental illness), and of that 35%, 25% said that they were depressed.”

“I feel like there’s no mental health advocacy at this school,”  Robinson stated when it comes to the way that the high school treats mental health. She believes that paying attention to mental health is especially important at the age that most students are.

Overall, Robison thought that the road to improvement needed to begin with showing support for those with mental illness.

Jasper Morrison, a senior at YC, has personally experienced mental illness within his family and himself. He has been affected personally by anxiety. While he struggled in the past, he was able to speak up and get the help that he needed. Although he has his anxiety under control, he still has his “low points”. He has multiple ways of feeling better.

Morrison explained, “ When I’m overwhelmed I take a step back…. taking a break can make it a lot easier to cool down rather that dealing with [difficult situations].”

He felt that YC administration handles and treats mental illness well and does not need to improve. Although, because some students may not be informed of the help that is offered, he offered that making the sources more apparent may help more students.

School Counselor, Quinn Takashima, works here at Yamhill Carlton and was able to give the administration perspective. There are three people that are here for resources for anybody who is in need of support. Her office is always open and a safe space, as well as a George Fox intern that is available Mondays and Tuesdays. There is a representative from Yamhill County as well available Wednesdays and Thursdays. Takashima does not think that Yamhill Carlton has any larger of a number of those affected by mental illness than anywhere else. She does, however, believe that there is a higher number of those that are speaking up about their illnesses.

She stated, “There is such a large spectrum of different types of mental illnesses that there probably are a lot more students here at YCHS and in the community that are affected by a mental illness.” Her advice for students wanting to be supportive and understand is to listen and create a positive environment for those who are trying to speak up.

Resources for Help:

Emanuel Recinos

Rachelle Kliewer

[email protected]