Staff Editorial: Student mental health still a problem

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic student mental health has become even more of an issue. Senior Grace Werch highlighted the issues students face in her Social Issues class project on student mental health. In 2018, the Center for Disease Control estimated that nearly one in five children aged 3-17 have a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder. Furthermore, only 20% of children with these disorders receive care for these disorders from a specialized mental health care provider. This number has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To complicate this issue, rural areas like Berlin have less access to mental healthcare. Waushara and Green Lake County have no licensed psychiatrists, and although we do have psychologists, those are not medical doctors, nor can they prescribe medications. With the lack of clear avenues for students to get mental health care it can feel like there’s nothing that can be done.

To help students with mental health issues BHS tried to introduce the Sources of Strength program last year, and introduced the Berlin Cares program to help students report other students who might be struggling. Unfortunately, Sources of Strength had to take a backseat due to COVID-19 and the Berlin Cares program was met with suspicion due in part to the ‘report your friends’ wording used to announce the program. 

Berlin Cares had the right idea, however the way it was presented and perceived by students was counterintuitive. Rather than encouraging students to report their friends, Berlin Cares should try to flesh out the mental health services students can receive, address the concerns students may have about friends they report getting into trouble, and stress that everything reported to Berlin Cares will be kept private. 

Although Berlin Cares was perceived poorly by students, they still do good work. The Red’n’Green encourages students to reach out to the Berlin Cares website available here or to any other mental health help services available to them. Lists of mental health resources can be found on posters throughout the school or the list below this article. 


National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis text line: Text TALK to 741741

Trevor Project : LGBTQ+,,  1-866-488-7386

My3 App: Suicide prevention support system, available on the app store

National Eating Disorders Association: helpline: 1-800-931-2237

RAINN: Sexual assault, rape, abuse, incest 1-800-656-4673 

TWLOHA: depression, addiction, self-injury, suicide