Mental health is one of the many elements of a healthy lifestyle that many disregard — or that is disregarded and not taken into account by those who could provide it.

Schools are one of the most influential institutions in the world. They are also the most stressful part of teens’ lives, given the heavy workload given by teachers, and given that we’re surrounded by masses of people each and every day of our own age, each with different personalities.

What we need at school is a place and space where we can care for ourselves, and be cared for, at points throughout the school day.

Students need an outlet — a time period, and a place to go — where our mental health and well–being is the focus, so we can perform at the highest level.

With all the things we have to deal with both inside and outside of school, the stress that builds and builds can be unbearable. School officials should be required to take the extra step I’m proposing to ensure our mental health, so we can be the most productive and healthy people and citizens possible.

— Dionna Harrington, Student, Constitution High School, Center City, Philadelphia