Stress Among American and MCHS Teens a Growing Epidemic


An MCHS student tackles her assignments.

Anne Grady, Staff Writer

The mental health of high school students is a hidden and growing crisis for today’s generation. If you are a current high school student, you might be aware of the effects stress can have on someone’s mind and body. High school curriculum has intensified over the years which has caused a spike in teens’ stress levels, and on average, surpassing that of even adults.

According to data collected by a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association for America, teens reported that during the school year, they had an average stress level score of 5.8, on a 10 point scale. You might be asking yourself aren’t people of all ages stressed to some capacity? While this is true, adults reported an average of 5.0, which is marginally  lower than teens.

“It is alarming that the teen stress experience is similar to that of adults” says APA CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD. “It is even more concerning that they seem to underestimate the potential impact it has on their physical and mental health.” Only 13% of kids set aside time to manage their stress. Teens need to be provided with support, health education, and a way to control and maintain a positive mindset.

Where does all this stress come from? The most commonly reported causes were school related (83%), getting into a good college or deciding what to do after high school (69%), and financial concerns (65%).

Madison Consolidated High School’s at-risk counselor, Natasha Leahigh said,  “The biggest problem with teens is depression and finding good coping skills to go along with it (and) focusing on how to handle stressful situations. There are lots of things you are required to do.”

Emma Cammack, Hannah Owen, and Megan Eades trying to cope with the pressure of high school

Our community offers some help with kids suffering from poor mental health.

“Anyone can come up to anyone at any time; we have posters that advertise local health, information handed during Cub Pride, or you can link up with people in the community, Leahigh said.”

What do Madison’s students have to say about their own stress? One student ranked their stress during the school year at a 9.5. “It prevents me from signing up for extracurricular. Homework gets in the way of spending time with family.”

Another student ranked their stress at a 10. “It keeps me up at night. I get five hours of sleep on average. I go to bed around 1 in the morning.”

In a local poll conducted by ‘The Madisonian’ with a margin of error of 10%, 81% of students at Madison Consolidated High School say that school adds to their stress a significant or extreme amount. Only 3.5% of students replied “none at all.”

Nearly 70% of students rated their stress levels as a seven or higher.

If you are a student within our school system, we have several outlets at MCHS and in the community to help you through anything you need. You are not the only high school student that feels this way. Overall, teens’ mental health is an important issue that needs to be addressed; it is not only a problem within this community that needs more attention but worldwide as well.