How Strong is the Correlation Between Mental Health and Academic Achievement?

Hi, loves!

Today, I wanted to discuss something a little different with you guys. As you probably know if you’re a long-term reader, I usually post about mental health, social issues and beauty. However, I do want to keep my blog as a place I can write about, well, whatever I feel like! The education debate popped into my head whilst I was sat in bed scrolling through my social media, so I thought why not open my laptop and share my thoughts with you guys?!

First of all, I want to speak about my own educational experience to shine some light on what it can be like for young people, as well as give some background as to why I feel the way I do about the education system. I personally feel my education failed me, from primary school right through to the end of high school. College is where things changed, mainly because I made great friends and the college staff focused more on my welfare than my grades.. Which actually resulted in me doing well in my exams as I feel content and cared for! Anyway, primary school I was bullied for a few years. I feel it was obvious, yet the teacher’s did nothing. They didn’t really seem to care for my welfare, which is shocking considering I was a young child.

However, fast forward to high school and this is where I really feel I was failed. I had severe mental health issues that weren’t picked up on properly, other than 3 teachers making some small comments towards me basically stating their concerns. However, nothing was ever actually done and my head of year was never notified. Looking back, I showed all the signs of a child with severe depression, so this is one reason I feel I was failed. Another reason is that my high school cared FAR too much about grades than their students happiness and mental health. They spent too long implementing stupid rules such as no makeup, hair up, uniform perfect, grades perfect, that they forgot to check in and see if students were actually okay. This resulted in me failing all but 4 GCSE’s, despite ranking, in my opinion from my college and university results, pretty average when it comes to academia.

So, this leaves us with the simple question: should schools be focusing more on students welfare and mental health than their grades? I personally believe so. Now, I understand it’s important for schools to rank highly on OFSTED reports, but the way I see it their students are more likely to come out with better grades when they are under less pressure from staff and are cared for more.

The relationship between a students mental health and their grades is substantial, ‘ Mental illnesses may interfere with functioning in different ways.’ (Cpr.bu.edu, 2019) One reason for this is due to poor mental health often negatively affecting concentration and causing restlessness, making it hard for a child to focus in class: . I definitely experienced this myself, and unfortunately my grades suffered because of it. Another reason is that poor mental healtjh in a child may result in them attending school less, leaving their attendance and grades to suffer as they are missing vital information their fellow peers are learning.

At the end of the day, what’s more important – the welfare of students or their grades? I personally believe a child’s welfare always comes first, especially considering mental health and educational performance link together so closely.

What do you think? Let me know down below; hopefully we can get a discussion started in the comments as I understand people have many different views on this topic! 🙂

Lots of love,

Soph. xx

References:

Cpr.bu.edu. (2019). How does mental illness interfere with school performance? – Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. [online] Available at: https://cpr.bu.edu/resources/reasonable-accommodations/how-does-mental-illness-interfere-with-school-performance/ [Accessed 25 Jul. 2019].

12 thoughts on “How Strong is the Correlation Between Mental Health and Academic Achievement?

  1. I think that poor mental health definitely affects grades or performance. I failed a semester due to poor performance in clinical, even though my actual grades were decent in theory classes. At this school, they make you repeat everything. When you’re failing and depressed, it’s even harder to dig yourself out of that mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ii completely understand your frustration as I’ve been through a very similar situation back in high school. I think for me it’s important to try to remember you’re striving to achieve good grades for yourself, not for the schools leader boards. Try not to let them pressure you too much – this is about you and your future, not theirs. ❤

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  2. This is a really interesting topic and I’d definitely experienced similar issues- particularly in primary school. Mine definitely failed me too and I think it only improved for me in high school because I went to a private school. I totally agree that wellbeing should be a much higher priority.
    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely relate to you with this! My situation definitely started to improve during college as I felt way more included and cared about by staff and students. It really does make the world of a difference, doesn’t it? x

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  3. I feel the same way about my education up until the end of high school. I wish that teachers can do a better job at looking out for students beyond the learning content. We need to teach the next generation of teachers about signs to look out for.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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  4. It seems like schools want to be seen as the best, so they don’t care about your mental health. For them, it’s the grades. Especially when you have standardized exams. But the students performance depend on their mental health.

    So made me realize something last year. That the higher you go with your schooling, the more it affects your mental health. The more depressed you become. You have anxiety over doing exams or assignments.

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