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Remember to be polite this school year

The importance of being nice can never be overstated.

As students across Chambers County and other students in the Greater Valley Area return to school today, it is imperative all understand the value of being nice.

The youth across America are facing a mental health crisis today. A national study led by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists show that the use of social media has been correlated to feeling isolated. Society is still coming to grips with the volume of technology available in today’s digital age.

The feeling of isolation, which is in part brought on by the increased use of social media, often leads to depression, which can lead to thoughts of suicide. The good news is that many local students have benefited from mental health treatment in the past few years. The East Alabama Mental Health (EAMH) facility has placed two case workers in every Chambers County school.

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of Valley-area youth served through our center over the past few years,” EAMH Director of Family and Children’s Services Jean Spicer said. “A large factor is the increase in school-based mental health services. By placing therapists in schools, we are able to intervene early before emotional/behavioral needs become crisis situations. We are able to work with children and families who might have waited much longer to come for services at our local mental health center in Valley, due to transportation, scheduling or other barriers.  We also are better able to collaborate with teachers and counselors in the schools to develop a safety net around children who have mental health needs.”

Other students can help fellow students who are dealing with depression by checking in on them, encouraging them and keeping them active. Sitting down and talking to the quiet kid at lunch one day can force a student dealing with anxiety or depression to peel out of their comfort zone and open up to somebody.

This is a generation where teenagers are extremely busy and as a result deal with a lot of stress on a daily basis, especially those who participate in extracurricular activities. Many athletes in the Greater Valley Area play sports year-round and rarely see a break.

Some students, like Lanett football’s All-State senior D’Terreon Glaze, work part-time jobs outside of all the responsibilities that come with school. Before any teacher, family member or fellow student thinks about voicing their frustrations at a student, the student’s current workload should be considered as well.

There should be few issues this school year if every student, guardian and faculty member are considerate with one another when interacting.