Mental Health: Then vs Now


@WellnessGCHS on Twitter

Wellness Day 2023

Trinity Kellogg, Staff Reporter

Mental health is something Rampage has covered extensively in order to bring awareness to the impact mental health has on Grayslake Central students and, and what the school and district does to help students maintain good mental health. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 96% of public schools across the US report having at least one form of mental health services in school.

Four in 10 students are struggling with their mental health, according to the CDC, and 1/3 report having poor mental health. Response to this student mental health crisis in schools is evident, and Grayslake Central is no exception. GCHS annually dedicates an entire day to improving and nurturing student’s mental health, starting in 2016.

Wellness Day is a day dedicated to students at Grayslake Central to focus on themselves. It’s full of many different activities run by staff, such as painting, listening to music, hanging out with therapy dogs, or doing trivia. Many students participate in Wellness Day sessions to relax before the end of the year, as it gets very stressful for all students, especially seniors, as they prepare for college and the rest of their lives.

Grayslake Central’s Prevention and Wellness Coordinator, Kate Oldenburg, describes wellness as “… an
umbrella for many different things.” Wellness is whatever you do to help yourself relax and become more aware of your feelings and your mind. Mental health treatment, such as therapy, has become more and more expensive as the years go on, making it less affordable to people who need it. Grayslake Central clearly recognizes this, and is why it emphasizes the importance of wellness and what it means to keep your mental health positive and stable.

The average person going to therapy for depression spends almost $11,000 a year for something that could save their life. Oldenburg said “People’s mental health is worth it, absolutely. We do need to do
better to make sure that more people have access to mental health support.” The cost of mental health
practices has proven to be very expensive, but it hasnt always been this way. Mental health has become more widespread and has evolved significantly over the years. Thousands of years ago, humans associated mental illness with the possession of evil, demonic spirits, unpleasing the gods, and curses. As time continued on, people started focusing more on traumatic or stressful experiences, and how those could be the culprits of mental illness and anguish.

The earliest explanation of supernatural mental illness is as early as 6500 BC where they drilled holes into the skulls of people suffering from mental illness so that “spirits” could escape from their bodies. As time went on, science developed modern treatments of mental illnesses, directly related to the establishment of hospitals and asylums.

In the 18th century, asylums were protested against because of the conditions the patients were in. Times now have changed and traditional asylums no longer exist, though phyciatric hospitals do, which are regulated and have higher standards of conditions and have proven to be more helpful.
Mental health and how it is treated and diagnosed has changed a lot since 6500 BC and only for the better. The more people learn about mental health and how to take care of their own mental health the closer we are to normalizing it and spreading more awareness. Grayslake Central’s Wellness Day is a great step in this direction.