A disease, not a choice


Students find themselves unable to deal with their own mental illnesses. The Mental Health Awareness Club is there to help and educate them about this.

by Devyn Ivers, Staff Writer

In a classroom of 25, five students may be struggling with various mental issues. 20 percent of the population wrestles with these illnesses, but only 4 percent of healthcare is spent on them. These statistics are staggering, and many students believe that there should be more awareness about mental health.


The Mental Health Awareness Club is a club that all students in high school can join. It raises awareness and educates students on mental illnesses that can affect anyone.


One of these students is Morgan Jackson, a junior with strong feelings about this topic.


“There are so many kids today that have depression and anxiety in high school, and there is such a big stigma around it…it is important to raise awareness,” She said.


The Mental Health Awareness Club has been a target that Jackson has been working towards for almost two years. Finally, with assistance from Ms. Hurley, a special education teacher, the club was brought to life and is now moving towards its goal.


“I’m working with the Mental Illness Stigma-Free Committee in town to find volunteer opportunities and ideas about how to spread it around the school,” Jackson said.


The Mental Illness Stigma-Free Committee educates and raises awareness about mental illnesses throughout Glen Rock and Bergen County. It also gives residents a chance to involve themselves in this cause. Through the Mental Health Awareness club, it will also give students this same opportunity.


Jackson prefers social media to provide information about the club. She hopes to “even go outside the scope of our school to spread awareness.”


Next year, Jackson wants to focus on two main mental illnesses: depression and anxiety. Since the club is based in a school setting, her attention is on the health problems caused by school related stress.


The club, while making strides in its purpose, was not easy to begin.


“In the beginning of the year, the teacher protests were happening so I couldn’t have an advisor. Then, I had an advisor but she went on maternity leave so I finally asked Ms. Hurley and she agreed to be my advisor,” Jackson said.


Ms. Hurley assists Jackson in finding rooms for club meetings, and connecting her with teachers that have greater knowledge on the subject. Mr. Feldman, a psychology teacher even agreed to speak at one of the meetings next year.


Jackson’s role in the club is very essential.


“I plan all the meetings, I find volunteer opportunities, and I put together information to help educate people,” She said.


By advancing with this club, students and parents alike will be educated on the topic of mental health and how it affects all of us. The Mental Health Awareness Club is definitely one to check out.