Grades: The Glossed Over Contributor to Mental Health Crises at School

CORRAL Classroom

By Namita Gunnala, 2022 Education Intern at CORRAL

May is Mental Health awareness month which is a big area of focus for CORRAL. The main reason behind mental health declining among students is the stress of school work. This can be anything from the pressure of grades to lack of proper mental health resources.

CORRAL provides girls the opportunity to deal with what they may be struggling with while also participating in equine based therapy. They focus on building healthy relationships with their horses and that can aid them in the classroom. Among youth aged 13-18 in North Carolina, an estimated 49.5% of adolescents had any mental disorder. 32% of high school teens have experienced “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness”. These statistics can be seen in many of our girls and their experience prior to coming into this program.

CORRAL assists girls to have a balance between school work and a healthier mindset. A participant in the program described CORRAL to be encouraging while she is having depressive episodes which causes her to shut down in school. This behavior affects her relationship with teachers and further causes a lack of motivation. She mentioned the added stress she receives from her family to perform well in school and that can cause a feeling of hopelessness. Grades can be triggering for a lot of our girls as they do not know when to ask for help.

Our mission is to hold the girls accountable while still supporting them through these moments where they may fall short. The overall goal is to allow the girls to have a chance of improving their future despite their past traumas.


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CORRAL is a faith-motivated nonprofit that equips adolescent girls in high-risk situations through a long-term, holistic program of equine therapy and education.

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