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Burton High Stories: Teen Mental Health

Lam Nguyen, a senior at Phillip and Sala Burton High School

Students studying health sciences at Phillip and Sala Burton Academic High School in San Francisco worked with KALW radio to share their perspectives on health issues and solutions. Lam Nguyen shared how teenagers continue to face mental health challenges that worsened during the pandemic.

My name is Lam Nguyen. I am currently a senior at Phillip and Sala Burton High School, and I am here to spread awareness around teen mental health.

This topic holds a lot of significance for me because I have also endured a lot of pain due to depression and anxiety. I struggled a lot during the pandemic and began to spiral downwards, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience that. I've even lost a friend who was around my age, to suicide because they weren’t able to reach out to resources in order to address their mental health.

The teen mental health situation we are experiencing is a crisis. As we all know, the COVID Pandemic plummeted the mental state of everyone. No one was prepared for the sudden isolation from their family, friends, coworkers, etc. People are still suffering the consequences today, especially teenagers.

Because students have returned back to in person learning, there has been a myth that the mental health of students have magically gotten better. But after returning to school and observing my fellow peers, I have noticed that overall, many students have lost motivation to push themselves in school and that the atmosphere at school feels tense.

Teen mental Health issues could have many different origins because everyone grows up differently. It root from issues such as abusive households, bullying at school, sexual abuse, or exposure to drugs at a young age. All of these factors may lead to

According to the CDC, in 2021, 4 in 10 teens felt hopeless and persistently sad while 1 in 5 students experienced suicidal ideation. This is a serious crisis that needs to be addressed within our society. The negligence of teen mental health has spiralled so far that people will only open their eyes when something as big as someone ending their own life to realize the crisis we are in.

Phillip and Burton Sala High School has many resources like having social workers on campus, group therapy sessions, and connections to outside mental health facilities.

Our society needs to address and end the mental health stigma before things get worse than they already are.