The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Navigating life and school after an attempt
Navigating life and school after an attempt
Ell Franklin and Anthony Vasek November 3, 2023
“I’ve been focusing more on myself and what I need because I used to be a really bad people pleaser. I’ve always put everyone else first before me.”
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The CCLL Leadership team 

(top row, left to right: Erika Homan, Carolyn van Mantgem, Melanie Zapper, Taylor Nada, Tim Clewell.
bottom row, left to right: Johanna Mauro, Fionn Conroy, Kayla Gaskill)
Hello CCLL!
Taylor Nada, Online Editor • December 7, 2023
This year, the Arcata Arts Institute joined a new program known as the Creative Careers Leadership Lab (CCLL), an organization aimed at helping art students gain skills to succeed in future careers in the arts.  
Pepperbox Broadcast
Pepperbox Broadcast
Rey Barber, Art Director • November 17, 2023
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a broadcast,” Kloe Bryant said, “so it’s really just testing everything out,”
Difference Between America and Other Countries
Shu Yamashita November 14, 2023
“In Italy, we have just one class and the same classmates, we don’t change classes. We have been in the same class for four years. We have twelve subjects,”
Is study hall really for studying?
Kyndle Eisner, Production Manager • November 14, 2023
“I feel like it’s less strict than last year, but the pass system is stupid and doesn’t work.”

Moving forward with student mental health

“I think staff members need to remember that each student is individual and has their own needs,”

Mental health can often be a difficult topic to talk about, but it’s important that mental health issues are brought up and dealt with because early mental health treatment is essential for lifelong wellness. Mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are common for teenagers and young adults to experience and can make it challenging for teens to go to school and do well academically.

According to the California Healthy Kids Survey results from 2021-2023, 36% of ninth graders, 46% of tenth graders, 46% of eleventh graders, and 42% of twelfth graders in the Northern Humboldt Union High School District answered “yes” to having chronic sad or hopeless feelings in the past twelve months. Even more concerning are the numbers of students that answered “yes” to seriously considering attempting suicide in the past twelve months: 21% of ninth graders, 30% of tenth graders, 21% of eleventh graders, and 20% of twelfth graders.

The COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning has taken a toll on student mental health and many students are struggling to adapt back to a typical learning environment.

“I feel like it’s been a difficult adjustment transitioning from distance learning,” Arcata High Behaviorist Jessie Burns said.

Arcata High has added many new resources for students, such as the addition of several support personnel, including a full-time social worker, psychologist, behaviorist, and many school psychology and social work practicum students. There are also many newly formed support groups. Burns said that there weren’t enough services in place until recently, so many students did not have the resources they needed. However, Burns believes that the Arcata High staff has been trying their best to provide support to students, even though they have limited resources.

Trevor Hammons, a school psychologist at Arcata High, also shared his thoughts on the issue.

“I think staff members need to remember that each student is individual and has their own needs,” Hammons said.

He believes that it’s important for the school to come together and build support, and for everyone to encourage each other to ask for help and report potential danger.

Both Burns and Hammons believe that it is the responsibility of everyone in the community to provide support and take action to make changes. Burns shared a few of her own ideas for changes the school can make.

“I feel like our school community would benefit from a wellness center where students can access all of the resources in one place on campus,” Burns said.

Arcata High is in the process of providing more support for students who are struggling with mental health problems, but it takes time, patience, and a strong school community to make changes. As support systems continue to grow and more resources become available, more students are able to feel comfortable, safe, and supported at school, but improvements are constantly being made.

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About the Contributor
Scarlett Burns, Copy Editor
Scarlett Burns is a freshman, journalist, and aspiring author. She writes a lot in her free time and enjoys coming up with new plots and characters to use in her stories, and she is planning on writing her first official book soon. She believes in the importance of telling stories and wants to inspire others with her work. Scarlett plans on using her new role as a journalist to address and bring light to changes and issues at Arcata High. Although Scarlett’s previous work has been mostly fiction, she is open to the challenge of writing about different topics.
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