Mental Madness: the Importance of Mental Health Month

Madison Steen, Journalist defines mental health as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” The importance of mental health might not be widely known, but it is nonetheless important in our day-to-day lives. 

October is depression and mental awareness month. These topics are not talked about enough in our personal lives and in our school environment, and yet the mental health of millions of high school athletes might suffer stress.  

“What stands out to me on mental health is they have to know where they are at if they rated themselves on a scale of 1-10, on a daily basis, where would they fall,” said East High School psychiatrist Howard Wakkinen on the topic of student-athlete mental health. “If they are below a 5, what do they do to increase their positivity and increase their support and their resources? Coaches need to reach out to their athletes and educate them on who they can talk to.”  

It’s important to have the resources necessary to boost mental health available. The ability to keep themselves up-to-date with school resources and techniques to maintain their mental wellness throughout students’ high school experience is critical, especially with students struggling with injuries that might prevent them from participating in important extracurricular activities. 

“I think what is important about mental health is being able to perform at the highest level you have to be there mentally not just physically,” said Taliah Morris, 11, about her mental health, stating its importance. “Last year when I had my surgery I was not in the best mental state because I could not do things I wanted to do, I stopped coming to school and doing my work, and my grades fell apart. So, mental health plays a key role in sports and academics.” 

During the month of October, the importance of mental health is brought to light, but the topic of maintaining students’ internal well-being is something that should be openly discussed year long. 


For more information on East High School’s mental health resources, visit Howard Wakkinen in room 709.