By Gabriel Gioia, Secondary 4 Student at Laurier Macdonald High School, Montreal, Quebec

In my opinion, mental health is crucial for success. Just like physical health, it comes with a wide range of benefits for everyone.

Firstly, it significantly reduces stress. People who take care of themselves will worry less about small, insignificant things in their life and they’ll be able to cope better with pressure as they’ll feel like they have more control over the outcomes. This will lead to an improvement in grades. For example, let’s say there’s two students who have an exam, both studied the same amount of time except one student is confident while another one is worried, scared that they didn’t study enough. They both completed the exam, but the student who had confidence did better. The main reason for this was because of their mental health, which has a domino effect on the exam. Let me explain.

The reason someone is confident is usually because they believe they can succeed and this belief comes from a healthy mindset. The only way a healthy mindset can exist is if they have taken care of their mental health which tells them that it’s possible to succeed which in-turn, makes them succeed. This applies to all situations and I believe a lot of people don’t realise this. If we believe in ourselves, then that belief will propel us to do better but, this belief only comes from good mental health.

This is especially important for children and teens as they are in a stage of growth and are establishing their identity. For example, let’s say one child is unintentionally neglected by their parents. This child will come to the conclusion that they are worthless and will begin their life feeling that they’re meaningless and have no control over it. This causes a variety of problems as their mental health plummets, they begin losing control of themselves and go into a downward spiral. I’ve personally experienced this myself and seen it. It is only when the individual realises that and takes action to put themselves back in control by changing their few and adopting a healthy mindset and well-being.

This is where mental health also plays a key role in education. Most of modern society spends their childhood and teenage years in school. This means that minors spend most of their time in a classroom where the primary source of influence is their teacher. This signifies that depending on the mental health of the teacher, it will directly influence the child’s growth. I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve had a bad teacher and because of it our grade decreased for that specific class while having a good teacher who taught well increased our grade. Without most of us realising it, our teachers play an even bigger factor into our children’s mental health and success on top of teaching the material.

This is why mental health is important, it affects every aspect of our lives and especially that of children and education.

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