Mental health illnesses have become more prevalent over the past 20 years. With this increase in mental health disorders, schools have failed to provide students with the necessary support and resources needed for them to be successful in the classroom. The objective of this study is to highlight the prevalence of mental health illnesses and give insight to strategies that can be implemented by the school system in order to give every child the opportunity to be successful. This study focuses on adolescents with anxiety and/or depression. Research has been conducted to identify the increase in cases of mental health disorders since the year 2000. This research revealed possible causes of mental health illnesses, identified symptoms of such illnesses, and proposed possible strategies for helping students be successful in spite of their challenges. There is much discussion in the education field as to how much responsibility teachers have for the mental needs of their students. The findings of this study argue that teachers must address the mental needs of their students if they want to ever teach them academic content. This idea expands upon Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where he suggested that a person’s physical needs must be met before a person can ever reach his/her full potential. This study explores Maslow’s theory and concludes that mental health needs belong inside his model for human necessities. The findings conclude that there needs to be reform inside the education system in order to properly address mental health needs of students.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2020


Dr. Rachel Bishop-Ross

Mentor Department Affiliation

Mathematics and Statistics

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies