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    What Is the Problem With Math Problems

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    As students, we rise during the dark hours and go to sleep once the clock strikes midnight with every hour in between consisting of extensive work and worry. On the daily, we uphold multiple classes while collecting piles of homework and creating lengthy ‘to-do’ lists without having the time of day to complete them. This struggle can be described as work overload which is a stress inducer and harm to mental health (Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 6:12). Therefore, students are prone to anxiety and other mental illnesses due to school stress (Joyce-Beaulieu et al, 29). To solve the downfall of the students in our community, schools must first become aware of the damages mental illnesses cause and then take initiative to solve the real problems students are facing other than their math homework.

    To cover the basics, “…anxiety is considered a complex reaction involving primarily fear…(Fluck, Sandra A., 127)”. According to Chadron State College’s Behavior Intervention Team, “1 in 4 young adults between 18 and 24 have a diagnosable case of mental illness,” like anxiety. That means more than 25% of students deal with mental trauma in schools (Chadron State College, Behavior Intervention Team, 1). Students that deal with anxiety usually tend to drop out of extracurricular activities, begin missing copious amounts of school, become distracted in class, and even lose weight (Ke, Sally, 29). These actions can cause grades to drop and student success to lower.

    Mental illnesses, like anxiety, do not only affect grades and motivation, but it also affects the health of the human body. “Anxiety is created when the nervous system is triggered and begins to release cortisol, (Leong, Frederick T. L., 35)” a high pressure hormone that gives you a fight or flight feeling. Cortisol shuts down long term processes like body development and fighting diseases, causing damage to necessary bodily functions. “Among school-aged children, there is a high prevalence of anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorders, major depressive disorders, suicidality, and substance use (Ndetei, David M, et al, 74).” It is important that adolescents are learning to manage stress to grow and develop healthily. The Films Media Group covered an experiment of babies being ignored in foster homes to test the effect of cortisol on growth. From the test, scientists discovered that the babies from foster homes did not grow as fast as babies that were receiving love and attention while also avoiding “cortisol overload (Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 7:18)”.

    In just the past year, more than 73% of college students have admitted to dealing with a mental illness, but 32% of this group reports that their college has no idea of their crisis (Chadron State College, Behavior Intervention Team, 1). Schools need to begin taking responsibility for this issue and start solving them. It is important that schools take this initiative since they are “the legal doctrine under which an individual assumes parental rights, duties, and obligations without going through the formalities of legal adoption (Bickel, Robert D. et al, 2).”

    This is also known as in loco parentis, a common-law concept that allows teacher’s “legal authority over students as broad as that of parents (Bickel, Robert D. et al, 2).” This means that teachers can discipline students as their own child (with legal limitations). Not only are teachers given this authority, but they are also required to maintain the “ideal of schools having not only educational but also moral responsibility for students (Bickel, Robert D. et al, 2).” Students should receive help for mental illnesses from schools as if they were their legal guardians.

    Possible solutions to bring awareness would be to invite public speakers to enlighten others of the importance of mental health. Many public speakers of these sorts are willing to present for a low cost or no cost at all because they are so passionate about the topic and taking care of others. If hiring a professional public speaker is not an option, students themselves could volunteer to speak of this crisis if they have an adequate degree to do so. This would not only benefit the listeners, but the student speakers to collect experience and optional credits.

    The Community Mental Health Journal “designed a workshop that reduced limitations to the broad applicability of previous interventions (Community Mental Health Journal, 330).” This 1-hour workshop was applied in 3 public schools and featured local students speaking about their own mental illness and how they deal with them (Community Mental Health Journal, 330). This allowed students to find common grounds with peers and become more comfortable with their illness and others that have similar ones. Also, “this study was approved by UBC Children’s and Women’s Research Ethics Board and Vancouver and Surrey School Boards in British Columbia, Canada (Community Mental Health Journal, 330).”

    This study proved that “1) introduction to mental illness and public stigma, 2) education about psychiatric disorders, and 3) treatment of mental illness and available community resources, (Community Mental Health Journal, 331)” are incredibly important steps to helping students with mental illnesses in our community. There was a significant result of positive understanding throughout schools between pupils with and without mental illnesses. This information will continue to move to the whole community and further bring awareness to a large population to begin solving the wide spread crisis of mental illness.

    Once the community is conscious of the issue, the school can start creating hands on solutions. Some possible options to soothe stress in schools is later start times, free class periods, and safe spots. Later start times would allow students to have optimal sleep and help with cognitive behavioral issues. Every benefit of adequate sleep correlates to common symptoms and struggles that come with mental illness and can help with the extreme physical and mental side effects.

    Getting enough sleep has many benefits. It can help you:

    • Get sick less often
    • Stay at a healthy weight
    • Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
    • Reduce stress and improve your mood
    • Think more clearly and do better in school and at work
    • Get along better with people
    • Make good decisions and avoid injuries – for example, sleepy drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year

    (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2)

    A free class period is a break between classes where students can relax or take time to catch up on work that is causing overload. During these periods, “teachers [can offer] additional in-class academic supports, modifying assignments and test accommodations (Joyce-Beaulieu, et al, 29).” Studies show “when students feel a sense of belonging, have good peer and teacher relationships, and feel listened to when they raise concerns, helps to support positive mental health in schools (Page, Damien, 7).” These free periods can be hosted in safe spaces that are specifically designed for relaxation and calming effects.

    The safe spots would preferably be separated from the constant movement of regularly scheduled classes and away from harsh noises. Based on previous experiments, anxiety levels increase when in overwhelming situations and may also lead to panic attacks. If schools cannot afford to build a separate safe space, they can transform a classroom or section of a library with calming aspects like lavender essence and gentle lighting. “Lavender is an herb that has been proven effective by leading researchers as a natural remedy for treating signs of anxiety (University Health News, 3).” Lavender is a safe treatment to use compared to common medications like Paxil, Effexor, Prozac, and Lexapro because they are extremely addictive and not recommended for adolescents. Patients can also “develop further psychological and physical distress as well as experience withdrawal symptoms (University Health News, 4).”

    There are many solutions to solving the widespread problem of mental illness in schools. The most effective solution is bringing awareness and then listening to the students for what they personally need of the multiple options. If schools are willing to create simple accommodations to solve mental illness problems, students will eventually be able to solve their own math problems without stress.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    What Is the Problem With Math Problems. (2022, Jan 18). Retrieved from

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