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Teachers are opening up about mental health struggles, asking students to use them as a resource

Mental health affects everyone, even people that are in professions who’s sole job is to help others. Yup, that means, nurses, doctors, teachers and even therapists can have mental health challenges that they have to manage every day. One group of teachers are working to normalize mental health struggles by offering advice for students.

The teachers from different parts of America teamed up with PBS NewsHour to help teens understand that they’re safe people to talk to about their mental health.

“I want to tell all students struggling with mental health that we are here for you and that all teachers were teenagers once. We all did grow up and we have experience of what it’s like to be in middle school, to be in high school and that we can see the struggles that you’re going through,” Holly Goldberg, a teacher in Fort Lauderdale, Florida shares. “Growing up is not easy and we want you to know that we’re here to listen to you and here to help you.”

It can be easy for teens to forget that adults weren’t born as adults and that while the technology has changed, a lot of the teenage experience is still the same. Having the reminder that trusted people may understand what they’re going through can be helpful. Another teacher in the PBS video admits that he’s open with his students about his own mental health struggles and find that helps build trust to foster communication.

“Depending on what you’re comfortable with, open up a bit with them, be a little vulnerable. My students, we always talk about it. I struggle with panic disorder and so I’m struggling with some of the same things they struggle with. So letting them know, hey you’re not alone,” Robert Casas, a teacher in San Diego, California reveals.

Teens are experiencing mental health challenges at higher rates than previous years. Teachers being open with them about their own experiences or just being available for these conversations can help teens have a safe outlet.

Watch the entire heartwarming video below: