Mental Health is an issue within our education system
Debate Rounds (4)
Mental illnesses is such a wide spectrum, however, for brevity, I'd like to narrow it down to depression and anxiety. These two are the most common mental illnesses that seem to develop due to the amount of stress placed on students. Mental health to me is simply the well being of both the psychological and emotions of a person.
When you say that there are homework clubs and other opportunities for homework help, how does that address and provide a solution for the amount of homework given? Groups such as the National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association suggest ten minutes of homework per day for each grade level is generally a good rule of thumb for elementary and middle school students. However, many students report to having 80 minutes of homework in elementary school and upward to 100 minutes of homework in middle school, exceeding the recommended amount.
I believe the lack of resources and proper education about mental health is further perpetrating the problem that there is a rise in mental health issues. To be more exact , according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the second leading cause of death of 15-24 year olds and the third leading cause of death of people aged 10-24 in the United States. There are gym and health classes that help keep kids bodies in shape and healthy, but not classes to teach kids how to manage stress and encourage healthy and safe coping mechanisms. Without these skills and techniques kids are left feeling hopeless, helpless and stressed out. These are some of main symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Would you please share your source from where you talk about adding multiple homework club and what considered other opportunities?
What are your definitions of the American education system, mental health and mental illnesses? That way we can be on the same page?
Also I apologize for not including my source, http://www.educationworld.com....
The point you make about schools having great (by great do you mean sufficient to deal with issue?) disability services and accommodations is very true. However this may be because of the complexity of mental illnesses and how difficult they are to diagnose and how little people still know about them. One states that the lack of resources and proper education is perpetrating the problem, by this do you mean that the resources and education are obtainable or not? Kirsten Weir would state that there is a lack of resources because they are not yet obtainable. (obtainable meaning accessible)http://www.apa.org...
One must ask you to clarify if you argue that the American education system creates these mental illnesses? Is the depression and anxiety solely from the tests and homework?
I am enjoying debating this with you and look forward to your response.
Yes, the strength of the disability services versus mental health services was going to be my next argument. I totally agree with you on the statement that the complexity of mental illnesses and the difficulty to diagnose. This is in part why I believe our education system is failing to help students be aware and give them the resources to help them better cope with the stresses of school that may be causing anxiety and/or depression.
No, I am not arguing that the American education system creates these mental illnesses. In that sense, I would be on the opposing side. I am stating that the American education system (for clarification purposes, I mean the United States) negatively impacts the mental health of students. I phrased it in this particular way because I know that there are many other contributing factors to one's mental health not just education. With this in mind, I would not say that depression and anxiety come from just tests and homework. Another huge factor is a students home life. However, discussing that impact would be driving the argument off topic. I would also like to clarify once again that I do not believe that tests and homework are the exact cause of depression and anxiety. Instead I argue that they are causing a huge amount of stress on students. Which in turn, when students don't have the right resources or coping mechanisms (why I stated that the lack of resources and help with mental health is part of the issue), they tend to develop symptoms and traits of depression and anxiety. If you would like I can include my research and elaborate on the link between stress and depression and anxiety.
Looking back at the original claim, one states that "American education system is negatively impacting the mental health" and then one states, "3 primary premises, the amount of homework given, the lack of support/education pertaining to mental illnesses and, the pressures of standardized tests." Throughout the arguments, it is repeated that the homework and tests, that schools provide, create stress for students and is one saying that this stress is a factor, among others, that develops the anxiety and depression? If so, then one could see the argument that schools are negatively impacting the mental health of students because the schools are the cause of the anxiety and depression. However, one just recently stated, "No, I am not arguing that the American education system creates these mental illnesses." I believe I am lost on how schools are negatively impacting students mental health. Would one say that schools play no part in creating these mental illnesses and what does "creating" mean to you? One mentions that tests and homework are not the exact cause, so would that be saying that homework and tests might not be the only cause, however they are part of the reason students suffer from mental illnesses?
I would greatly appreciate your research and an elaborate on the link.
I agree that not all students have the right resources or coping mechanisms, however the majority of schools provide counselors and should all of the responsibility of teaching children coping mechanisms fall onto the schools? Or should parents assist with educating children about mental illnesses?
Schools do not negatively impact a students mental health. If schools are not the exact cause of depression and anxiety, and it's mostly the home life. Then it is not the American education system at fault, but the home life of students. Therefore, would the American education system be responsible for providing coping methods and if it isn't only the tests and homework that is causing these issues, then the school is not pushing these students to have these mental illnesses.
Here is part of a paper I wrote on the mental health of students. This paragraph pertains to how stress impacts mental health:
The byproducts of these hormones are said to have the ability to act as sedatives. When large amounts of stress hormones are released it can contribute to low energy or depression. It"s normal to experience highs and lows from day to day, but an extensive release of byproducts from stress can cause people to be down in the dumps for long periods of time and develop what is known as Major Depression. According to Mills, Reiss and Dombeck, "Symptoms of Major Depression may include: sleep problems; fatigue; appetite changes; feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt; an inability to concentrate or make decisions; agitation, restlessness, and irritability; withdrawal from typical pleasurable activities; and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness." In a research study focusing on the coping mechanisms among students conducted by Deasy et al. states, "coping is defined as cognitive and emotional attempts to deal with the internal or external demands of the encountered situation. It is perceived as a process as opposed to a trait or outcome ". The results of this study showed three prevalent methods that students used to cope with psychological distress: escape/avoidance, support and taking control. The most frequent of these methods was the escaping and avoidance method. This included substance abuse, oversleeping, eating disorders and other detrimental habits.
To me creating means that it is the sole perpetrator of anxiety and depression. I am stating that it is a contributor due to the stress that homework and tests can place on students.
I am also stating that school is not the only reason why people have anxiety and depression. However, my claim is that the American education system increases stress, therefore, increasing the likelihood for depression and anxiety. Here is another article stating the influence on how tests can take a toll on students. http://brainconnection.brainhq.com...
I will have to agree with you on the idea that teaching kids about coping mechanisms and how to deal with mental illnesses should not fall completely on the school. However, most parents don't have the right knowledge and resources to help their kids either. Part of the teaching that I believe schools should offer is helping the students recognize patterns of depression and anxiety so they can get the help they need whether it be from the school or from an outside source. I also think another part of the issue is the stigma place on mental illnesses. This article : http://www.newsweek.com... talks about how college specifically have a negative view on mental health. It talks about how some students who went to seek help ended up getting kicked out of college. This then caused students to be afraid of what might happen and therefore not going and seeking help when needed.
You talk about how it is mostly home life that is causing mental illnesses. From that point of view I could see how you could come to the conclusion that its not the school's responsibility to provide the resources to help deal with these mental illnesses. So I must ask then, would you say that the school then have no effect on a students mental health? I would say by nature, because students spend an average of 7 hours a day at school during the school year, it must have some effect on the student.
I also feel as if you are taking an all or nothing approach. Are you stating that the only way that our American education system can negatively impact students is if it is the only contributor? Say everyone is working on a group project, and five people work on it and get an A. From what I am getting from your statement " if it isn't only the tests and homework that is causing these issues, then the school is not pushing these students to have these mental illnesses." I would assume with the same logic, you'd be saying only one of the students ("home life') got the A on the project and the other student ("the American education system") did not contribute at all to get the A even though every student worked on it collectively.
The impact that the American education system has on students is one a piece of what influences a students mental health. There are many others such as home life as you mentioned and social life. It is that the American education system has a negative impact because of the high levels of stress it places on the students with tests and excessive homework amounts (not the only contributors to stress just 2 of the examples I used). If we were to argue that the American education system is the only factor that impacts students health then I could agree with you that it is not the system at totally at fault. I believe it does play a part of it though.
I appreciate the clarification of the word "creating", without the proper defining of words it is easy for debates to become confusing and misunderstood.
To answer your questions, I am willing to consider that schools have an impact on the mental health if a very clean study was done that eliminated as many variables as possible and recorded the amount of stress hormones released.
If there was another round then I'd ask for a further explanation on what one means about the group project example. When you refer to home life in this example, does one mean that the home life was negatively impacting the student. If so then one couldn't necessarily say the student, that worked on it, would receive an "A".
I believe that our argument now lies upon what we were originally arguing. I apologize for not starting off the argument by stating what exactly I meant, whether the American education system was the only thing negatively impacting students or if it simply played a part. For future arguments, I will keep this in mind, to first define the argument.
Thank you for taking the time to debate this with me. I have learned a great deal from this debate and will use it to better my skills.
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