No matter what circumstances a high school student is facing, therapy in school can be a very beneficial practice that can help calm even the most anxious. Therapy can consist of discussion on a certain topic in a judgment free zone, or bringing in a therapist for short one-on-one sessions throughout the week. Adding this benefit to health and wellness classes in high school is wonderful. Something that works well for high school students is practicing mindfulness and awareness of self through meditation. Students are often overburdened, and the stillness of being at peace in a dark room with their thoughts can add much needed clarity to their day.

How therapy affects every student is different. Districts and schools wishing to add a therapy option to their health classes should consider how this will ultimately benefit the entirety of the student population. When choosing a therapist to bring into your school, consider your students’ needs and how they will match with the therapist that you choose. Therapy can also be used in conjunction with exercise, enabling students to help manage their weight while addressing other issues that may be affecting them emotionally or mentally. Even 15-20 minutes of physical activity has been shown to improve mood and help generate a more positive outlook on life. Students in Southwestern high schools were placed into a study where their health class was modified with therapy that joined meditation and wellness coaching with physical activities. These students were one third less likely to gain weight than their peers in the group that did not participate in the therapy health class, saw a 35% reduction in drinking, and returned to a normal mood if they had been depressed or showed signs of anxiety at the start of the class.

Bringing therapy and physical activity into the classroom is one of many ways that school districts can help their high school students manage an ever growing course load, responsibilities, and the stresses of day-to-day life. Offering therapy in conjunction with health classes is one step that a school can take to ensure the well being of their students throughout their high school career. Physical activity, mindfulness training through meditation, and wellness coaching can enable students to better manage self-care and recognize the signs of depression, overwork, and anxiety before they turn into long term problems. Helping students get the best out of their education starts with encouraging them to be active physically, mindful of their emotions and well-being, and addresses their concerns and cares about school and their daily lives. Consider adding therapy to your school’s health classes for a new twist on the course.