Mental Health

Mental health is an important topic in today’s society. According to the World Health Organization, mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” Mental health has a long scary history and has not always been accepted by society. Fortunately, mental health has come a long way and is finally being discussed in new ways.

Lauren Barrera-Green, an art teacher at PVHS talked about many different topics ranging from the history of mental health to her direct thoughts and opinions on the subject. She mentioned Rosemary Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy’s sister and the story of her lobotomy, a procedure popularized in the 1940s-1950s where a doctor would sever the nerves of a lobe or lobes in the brain as it was believed to help patients that suffered from mental illness. Barrera-Green said “It was a very sad thing that happened to her. Her family said she was acting uncharacteristically so they performed a lobotomy which had horrible effects. She was severely impaired.”

But Barrera-Green is optimistic that the stigma behind mental health is changing. She said “Generation Z is changing the way the world looks at mental health.” She spoke heavily on the importance of work-life balance with mental health which can determine how you and your loved ones cope with mental health issues. One prominent issue concerning Generation Z is their access to social media. Barrera-Green explained “social media can be good but also bad. It depends on what you’re looking at and how you balance the information you receive”.

Sophomore Makenna Wines spoke about how she believes mental health is very important. “I think we’ve made great progress as far as mental health and being more aware of that as a society, but it could always be better.” Wines believes that it is important for people talk about their experiences with mental health whether it’s with a professional, family, or friends.

Head counselor Jessica Isern is trained in brief counseling. She said, “The stigma with mental health is dissolving.” Isern believes that Generation Z is much more open with talking about their mental health compared to past generations which is part of the reason the stigma is going away. She talked about how PVHS’s video production class, House of Blue, creates informative and touching videos for students about reaching out for help with their mental health. Videos like these are helping diminish the stigma behind mental health because they spark new conversations and awareness throughout their audience. Isern also explained how mental health is just as important as physical health and should be treated as so.

To keep your mental health balanced, make sure to reach out for help when you feel it is necessary. Talk about mental health with your family, check up on your friends and see how they are doing. Here at PVHS, we are lucky to have supportive teachers, counselors, and school psychologists. Check out the school’s Mental Health Services website for more information.