Mental Health at KCHS

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Mental Health at KCHS

Karina Barajas, counselor at KCHS

Karina Barajas, counselor at KCHS

Karina Barajas, counselor at KCHS

Karina Barajas, counselor at KCHS

Gema Gasca, Reporter

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King City High School initiates their 2018-2019 school year with a new program. Karina Barajas has started a new counseling office. In contrary to other counselors, Barajas focuses on personal issues and group issues. Barajas’s previous year at KCHS was occupied as a Spanish teacher. She mentioned that even though she enjoyed working as a teacher, she didn’t
feel as if she got to all her students. She admits, “I feel like I was not able to help students on their individual, personal needs.” Barajas also mentioned the difficulties of having a large group of students is not being able to completely know them individually because of all the other students that also require attention. She confirms, “I have noticed that a lot of students have struggled with a lot of things that as teachers we don’t necessarily think about.” Barajas mentions a few issues she has dealt with, some being: mental health issues, self-esteem issues, anger, and anxiety. Barajas later states that she was aware that these problems happened at school and she searched for a way to help with them. As her counseling sessions continued, Barajas was surprised at a couple of students that came in. Barajas established, “I didn’t know certain students that I knew had issues like that.” As a teacher, last year Barajas got to meet many new students which she did not know we're going through these dilemmas.

Growing up in school, Barajas also had a counselor which she did not have a good experience with. The unpleasant encounters with her counselor gave Barajas motivation to become a counselor and surpass the ability that hers had. Barajas indicates, “I actually didn’t have a good experience with a counselor… so that was something I always wanted to do. Be a better counselor.”

Depending on each person’s problem, Barajas approaches it in a distinct manner. One method Barajas uses to help the pupils is by placing them in a counseling group if they feel
uncomfortable. She also offers individual counseling. Their meeting time also varies from once a week to once every two weeks. Barajas is in her office every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, problems at home or school, if you are overwhelmed or feel lonely please visit her, she will hear you and she will help you. People all over the world also deal with these problems, not treating it can lead to even more.

There are numerous amounts of people at school who do not speak up about their emotions to teachers or adults. Shame or embarrassment could be some factors that contribute to their silence. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 children from 13- 18 years old will undergo severe mental disorders at some moment in their life. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth from ages 10-24. The NAMI also reports that 90% of those who do commit suicide had a mental illness prior to their death.

Mental health has been an issue that many people, even celebrities, artists and actors, have dealt with. Both Mac Miller and Lil Peep died of overdosing. These artists had approached their mental issues in a non-healthy way. The narcotics they consumed led to their death. Every single one of these artists had the potential to increase their career more than they had already done.

The intake of drugs to aid mental dilemmas has been occurring for several years. This ongoing trend also impacts celebrities. Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston, Prince, Elvis Presley, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, and Kurt Cobain have all consumed narcotics or alcohol. Marilyn Monroe died from a Barbiturate overdose, Whitney Houston died from a cocaine overdose in 2012, Prince Rogers Nelson died in 2016 due to Fentanyl overdose. Elvis Presley died from heart arrhythmia caused by the cocaine and other toxins in his body, Amy Winehouse died in 2011 from a fatal alcohol poisoning, Michael Jackson died from a cardiac arrest due to all the medications that he consumed and overdosed on in 2009. Kurt Cobain mixed heroin and diazepam in 1994 and committed suicide while being on drugs.

Many people have turned to drugs or alcohol to forget their problems or make them feel better. Using drugs should not be something people should use for their issues or at all. There are several different methods to relieve yourself from the everlasting struggles. Barajas provides several options to deal with those mental issues or problems. Talking, drawing, music, writing and many more have been used by many the same was others use drugs. All these actions help them ease or control emotions. Environmental issues should not have to influence your actions or contribute to your emotions. Reach out to people, talk, vent about your problems or thoughts, every simple thought matters when it comes to your health and peace of mind.