Meet Evan Jensen. He's your average highschooler, catching some Zzz's before his alarm wakes him up.
But unfortunately, just like thousands of other students, his mental health will suffer after another long day of classes and work.
Evan thinks school starts too early. In fact, more than 75 percent of public schools start earlier than 8:30 am.
Furthermore, only 1 out of every 3 high schoolers receives 8 hours of sleep every night. Evan is one of the unlucky two.
Sleep deprivation is associated with negative mental impacts, including irritability, depression, fatigue, stress levels, and drug abuse.
However, only 20% of these kids receive the mental health support and help they need.
Sadly, Evan struggles with depression and social anxiety disorder. In fact, 1 out of every 5 students display symptoms of mental illness.
His family, teachers, and his principal--those who should be on the lookout for mental illness--are either ill-trained or too busy to check on Evan.
Hello, Mr. Smith. I'm OK.
Doesn't he notice I'm not okay?
There are simply not enough social workers, school psychologists, counselors, or school nurses available to provide students with the help they need.
Hey, Evan! How are you?
Evan has 7 assignments due over the next 2 days. The stress and academic pressure that homework can cause increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and drug abuse in students like Evan.
The excessive amounts of homework given students hasn't changed in over 30 years.
You've seen just one day in Evan's life. You've seen how the mental health of students can be drastically impacted. Early school start times, a lack of mental health services, and excessive amounts of homework all play a part.
But it doesn't always have to be like this. We can make a change. We can fight these realities and statistics. We can help students like Evan everywhere.