By: Abigail Carrillo
Seniors Claudia Cubillos, Venia Ghazarian, and Katie Solares created the “Mind Over Matter” club this year with the main focus on helping promote mental health awareness and emotional well-being on campus.
As of 2017, 32 percent of high school students have reported symptoms of depression, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of that, approximately 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood according to “I Need a Lighthouse,” which is a depression and suicide education awareness program.
These statistics represent a rise in reported depression amongst teenagers. Some effects of teen depression include: problems at school, substance abuse, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and self-harm. These teens claim that they often feel hopeless which makes sense given the amount of stress that teens deal with.
This year, a new study led by Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor, found that current high school and college students are dealing with the same amount of anxiety and mental health issues as people of the same age who were studied in the Great Depression era. This illustrates the high levels even in today’s more stable climate.
With that being said, many teens feel like they do not have sufficient resources when they are feeling this way. Though there are some resources on campus such as workshops and an on-site social worker, many students find it hard to come and talk to adults who might not relate to them on the same level.
That’s where Mind Over Matter comes in. The club’s organizers have dealt with the same stress that their peers are going through such as college applications, AP exams, and their home lives on top of all of that. This is important because young people in general find it easier to talk to people their own age. It is often comforting going to people who are willing to hear them out who are also in the same situation.
Mind Over Matter aims to teach students to value their mental health, which can often be overshadowed in the face of school stress. The club also offers an opportunity for students to get to meet other students and be in a non-judgemental environment where they can learn more about their mental well being.
“We wanted to make a club where all people can feel welcome to share their thoughts, not just about mental health, but about everything. It is a safe space where students can learn meditation techniques, tips on how to deal with anxiety, stress, and to talk to peers who are going through similar things,” Cubillos said.