World Mental Health Day may have been on October 10th, but mental health should always be at the forefront of our minds. As we continue the #adoptaclassroom initiative, the students of James Lewis Elementary celebrated the day by creating their mental health board for the classroom.

Children face numerous stresses in their lives that exacerbate mental health, including academic pressure, family, peers, and sleep deprivation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 children have a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. Older kids deal with anxiety and depression more than their younger counterparts. Behavioral problems are prevalent among children between the ages of 6-11 years.

Since 1994, the world celebrates World Mental Health Day with a specific theme for that year with “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention” as this year’s theme.

Mental Health Promotion was the base for this month’s #adoptaclassroom course, as the students constructed their mental health board from construction paper, notebook paper, and stickers.

The concept of the mental health board is simple. The students convey their feelings for that specific day through the use of pictographs. Only the students are fluent in their meanings, ensuring their privacy.

The students created a Mental Health Board on World Mental Health Day for #adoptaclassroom.

Mental Health has always been a taboo topic. Although it is getting more comfortable for people to open up about their thoughts and feelings, the social stigma has not entirely dissipated. Many still do not feel comfortable talking about their conditions and don’t receive treatment. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that almost half of individuals with severe psychiatric disorders are not currently receiving treatment.

Untreated mental disorders can lead to worsening or new symptoms, making them harder to treat and diagnose. According to Psychology Today, untreated mental disorders lead to a variety of consequences, including deteriorating psychological and physical health. For example, untreated depression worsens over time and resists treatment.

There are many resources available to anyone concerned about their mental health, including apps and online resources. Here is a link to accreditedonlineschools.org’s resource list.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with their mental health, we urge you to seek out a licensed medical professional immediately. Only a certified professional can accurately diagnose and treat the related disorder. Please take care of yourself. Do not wait and allow the condition to worsen over time.

We can no longer ignore the serious topic of Mental Health. It affects everyone, including students and teachers. This reason is why we chose Mental Health for this month’s #adoptaclassroom course. We would once again like to thank Amy Droege, Kalie Lene, Liz Talamantez, and David Ceperly, James Lewis Elementary, and the Blue Springs School District for giving us this opportunity.