Students keep mental health in mind


Reporter Oscar Gallardo social worker Luis M. Castanon.

Alexander Quiroz and Oscar Gallardo

Are students doing activities with their mental health in mind?  The majority of students say they suffer from anxiety and stress, a recent survey says.

In a random survey of 55 Morton East students, 34 said they suffer from anxiety related issues and more. 

It is known that people either do or do not get help or reach out. It might be their pride, but students do not talk about what is on their minds. One’s mental health is sometimes pushed to the back of us. Although it is old, a study in 2019, said anxiety and hopelessness increased by 71% in adolescents ages 17-25 and states this information has only gone up from then.

The recent pandemic has also made mental health problems even worse because while mental needs have risen due to the pandemic mental health services were also severely disrupted. The pandemic also affected some more than others (like restaurant workers and young people).  Many felt socially isolated and disconnected which fueled feelings of anxiety for young people in school. One of the causes is that students and teens today are under the influence of their parents and people alike to perform better than what students can normally do at a comfortable level. These of which cause elevated levels of stress that students have not developed an effective way to deal with. 

I think mental health in the Latino community is still talked down upon. Speaking from experience when we feel sad or frustrated, parents tend to think we can fix it by going out with friends or doing something that we enjoy. Mental health is much more than doing something that makes us happy,” said Luis M. Castanon, a social worker in Morton East. “Another reason is being prideful, which pride can be both positive and negative. However, when students are prideful, they believe whatever they are going through they will get over it and can handle it themselves,” Mr. Castanon adds. 

The community talks about how hanging out with friends makes you feel better, but what happens when you cannot meet those friends? 

The pandemic was the cause of people using face masks all the time. From personal experience, I’ve seen many people who got told they looked good while they were wearing a face mask. The moment they took it off, many people kept telling them they didn’t look as good without one knowing they just gave them a bigger reason as to why they should keep wearing it. Before the pandemic, people didn’t really pay attention to appearances until the pandemic ended. they became more self-conscious about their looks,” said Stephanie Cureno, a student in Morton East. 

With all of this in mind, we must look at how students identify themselves as having a problem. 

One way is when I feel mad or sad or just have mixed emotions; that’s when I know I am having issues because I am a very happy person and for me to get like that (means) it’s hard. I have a very good mental health,” Daniel Fuentes, a student in Morton East, said.