Are the “Edgenuity” Mental Health Videos Effective?

Olivia Solomon, Advertising Chair

A mental health crisis has hit and it has hit hard, especially for teenagers. According to the World Health Organization, every 40 seconds a teenager dies by suicide. As high schoolers, we feel the pressure; we feel the stress, and we feel anxiety and depression. Everywhere we look, we can see someone freaking out about their grades or with visibly low self esteem. We all struggle with personal and familial issues no one really wants to advertise. Unfortunately, nowadays high school and stress go hand in hand. This proves itself  a crisis; we can all agree. 

However, watching five hours of unscripted videos where untrained people, most with religious backgrounds, ramble on about “clearing your mind to become a better person,” as stated in some of the videos does not solve the problem. These closely monitored videos on Edgenuity were the Florida Legislature’s big solution to the current mental health crisis. They decided to have all public school kids from grades six through 12 watch videos, and now we’re all expected to say, “ way to go Florida, you have single-handedly solved the mental health crisis!”, but most of us are not. Not only do these videos fail to solve or help this issue of poor mental health in teenagers at all, but they treat them with such a lack of care and seriousness that it makes it seem that these problems do not amount to their true importance. For instance at one point in a video for the twelfth grade curriculum, the speaker instructs students to throw “a mental funeral” for themselves in order to clear their minds. An incredibly triggering phrase, the mention of this shows complete insensitivity especially for people going through a tough time or those who struggle with depression.  

Though the Florida Government wants to help solve this epidemic, these videos do not provide a solution. Why not use the money spent on these useless videos and put them towards more trust counselors in school? Give kids more resources to go and talk to, add mental health into general curriculums at a young age to give them that head start, and if they insist on five hours of videos, make quality videos featuring mental health professionals. Overall, these videos do not solve the problem of mental health and it’s only a way for the Florida government to say that they put action forth into this crisis.