New Media Academy at Hollywood High School

My message: Schools need more mental health counselors

Dear future president,

Three years ago I suffered from depression which lead to self-harm. Eventually, I overcame it and I want to bring more awareness to people that they can open up to others and pour out all their feelings and problems. I want teenagers to know that there are people who care about them and want to help them get better.

Self-harm needs to be important to schools and I believe schools need to bring awareness to this situation and have counseling because if schools don’t, then more teenagers are going to think that they don’t have anyone to talk to about their problems and that they’re all alone without a way out.

At that time my situation wasn’t as bad as others in this world. All I did was cut myself. Although I have a huge family, I felt like I had no one to talk to. I felt alone and felt like I did not belong here. I felt like the world was closing up around me and I had no way out of it. Months later, my sisters Krystal and Nishida, found out that I had cut myself on my wrist multiple times.

I had this journal that I kept and hid it away from everyone else. I poured out all my feelings that I held inside me. Eventually, I let them read my journal and they understood how I felt. I made them promise that they wouldn’t tell my parents and they tried their hardest to help me understand that I am worth more than I think I am, and that I am important to them and others. To this day I do not regret going through what I went through and I want to share my experience with others going through or went through the same thing I went through.

“About 1 in 10 young people will self-harm at some point, but it can happen at any age. The research probably under-estimates how common self-harm is” (Royal College Of Psychiatrists). People who self-harm can be young or old and each individual has their own story behind why they self-harm.

Some of the research that people do underestimate is how common self-harm is in this world. Some people don’t take self-harm to a serious level and think that cutting yourself is for seeking attention or for fun, when in reality, self-harm is a step closer to suicidal thoughts which leads to trying to end their lives.

“While self-injury may bring a momentary sense of calm and a release of tension, it’s usually followed by guilt and shame and the return of painful emotions” (Mayo Clinic Staff). Some people self-harm to feel relief of the pain they’re going through.

Self-harm is when people who have depression of any kind harm themselves by a variety of ways possible. They feel the need to harm themselves to feel less pain. I believe that schools should have more counseling to let students know that they have adults who care about their feelings and about their well-beings.

Schools need more counseling so that the students dealing with problems at home or anywhere else can come and talk to someone. I believe that telling someone is better than to keep your problems locked and away. All a teen needs is a support system.

Schools need to bring awareness to not only suicidal teens but teens who have problems at home or of some sort. I have a friend that had trouble at home and started cutting herself. I was the one to reach out to her and help her get through what she was going through. She doesn’t cut anymore and every time she feels the need to cut, she comes to me for help.

Counseling at schools can help prevent teenagers from cutting themselves and lower the percentage of self-harm a little bit more.


Dakota Feesago

New Media Academy at Hollywood High School

Los Angeles, Calif.