Trail Blazers come up with their own ways to help others with mental health struggles


Mental Health has become a critical issue around the world and students are finding ways to bring positivity into each other’s life. Photo Credit: Quince Media, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

“Just as we teach people physical hygiene to help preserve their physical health, for a happy and peaceful mind, we need to teach people about emotional hygiene– how to tackle their destructive emotions.” The words of the 14th Dalai Lama are true of the Tibetan Buddhists and are true of humanity.


After the pandemic, students in the United Sates are finding ways to deal with mental health.


The idea of being “mentally stable” and having “good mental health” looks and feels different for everybody.


“Having good mental health means most of the time you feel at ease,” junior Pari Deshpande said. “You feel like you’re getting through your day okay, and even when you’re not, you feel like you have the resources to get better and feel like you have someone that’s there for you.”


Having a stable mental and keeping your head worry free is a huge factor in keeping a peace of mind. The inbalance, however, of not being mentally healthy can lead to lots of different things that drastically affects your everyday life as well as the ones around you.


 “It can lead to a lot of things like depression, suicidal thoughts, or extreme not sleeping, self harm, all types of things that can just be detrimental, not only to you but also to others,” said Sahar Noor, a sophomore and member of the Peace of Mind club.


While this may seem like rock bottom for some students, there are ways to get yourself out of your own head and get back on track.


“I just find someone to talk to that I know and know can help me and give me good advice. Having someone there for you is super important. Me having that person helps a lot with issues like that,” Junior Asher Thomas said. 


Not everyone has a reliable person they feel comfortable telling anything to. Peace of Mind (POM), a mental health club at Lebanon Trail High School, has created a safe space for students to talk about their issues. 


“So what Peace of Mind offers is whenever we have meetings, we try to get students to relax, get their mind off of things. Every monday we send out forms where students can anonymously let us know how they’re doing, and they can always feel free to reach out to either me or Pari,” said Noor. “I feel that’s a really amazing, positive thing we’re doing because not many other places offer that and have it available to students, especially anonymously.”


Having groups like this in schools is really important, especially to those who are struggling mentally. 


“[The club has] given me a place where I feel like I can talk about mental health very openly, and it’s a very comfortable atmosphere where I feel like I’m not judged. I think that’s the case with a lot of the club members too, so it’s just like a safe platform which helps,” said Deshpande, another member of POM.


The Mary Christie Institute supports the idea of schools having peer support groups available for students.


 “Students want, and perhaps need, to help ease the suffering that surrounds them, and peer-to-peer support is a natural response.” 


Even if there is no club available, having and finding a support system is a necessity in maintaining one’s mental health. 


“I feel like I can tell [my friends] anything and they can help me,” Thomas, a part of the POM group said. “Even if it’s in stupid ways, they still find ways to help me and make me feel better.”


Sometimes all it takes is for one person to recognize that a peer or a loved one is struggling. Not everyone is just going to come out and say that they need help, but there are measures that can be taken in order to really help that person.


“The most you can really do is just be there for them and be supportive. You can’t fight the battle for them but you can help them through it. You just need to give them a safe space where they feel comfortable talking,” Deshpande said.


Noor feels that mental health is as important as physical health.


“I think everyone should try to aim for a stable mental environment. If you need to be physically okay, you also need to be mentally okay and so it’s vital that you are.”