Date: September 16, 2020
By Andre Armour, Youth Advisory Council member
Andre is a young advocate seeking peace and proper justice for his community. He believes that his purpose in life is to serve others in whatever capacity is needed.
Imagine yourself at your lowest state in your life. What was the situation? Where were you? What did it feel like? Now imagine feeling like that every day of your life. I remember when I was 13 years old and in middle school. I forgot to put on some deodorant. There was an aroma like no other sweeping behind me and through every classroom that I had went to. Eventually, everyone started to know that it was me and began taunting me. I was so embarrassed. I felt so miniscule. I can only wonder how it would be to feel like that every day of my life. Low self-esteem is characterized by a lack of confidence and feeling badly about oneself. Research shows that low self-esteem can have a negative impact on one’s health. School-based health center (SBHC) staff can help to improve young people’s self-esteem by ensuring proper medical services are offered and by leading initiatives in the school that target self-esteem.
I felt so miniscule. I can only wonder how it would be to feel like that every day of my life.
As a result of low self-esteem having the power to systematically destroy young peoples, school-based health centers are more important than ever. Living with low confidence can hurt your psychological wellness and lead to issues, for example, sorrow and nervousness. You may likewise create unhelpful propensities, for example, smoking and drinking excessively, as a method of adapting.1 SBHCs provide a wide range of medical services to young people. “Support from medical care laborers like attendants and specialists, school-based health centers give a wide range of administrations to meet children’s and youngsters’ medical service needs. Administrations can incorporate registration, lab tests, remedies, advising, and normal visits for issues like asthma and diabetes.” 2 Ensuring that our youth have access to SBHCs could save their life and improve self-esteem which in turn can mean a better future for kids and a healthier productive citizen for society. School-based health centers are also supported by School-Based Health Alliance. SBHA has a wealth of resources. There are health professionals, business professionals, government officials and even a Youth Advisory Council that support the mission and vision of the School-Based Health Alliance. It would be awesome if this entire organization could be utilized to bring light to how self-esteem plays a critical in the overall health of an individual lead alone our youth. They could do a campaign that highlights the importance of self-love and self-care that redirects the youth’s attention on how they play a paramount role in their own success, love and happiness. The following are ways that you can help.
- Get involved with your local government and advocate for your community to fund school-based health centers
- Get connected to School-Based Health Alliance organization and figure out what they are doing to ensure all youth have equal access to SBHCs
- Talk to youth and work with them to become advocates for their selves and their peers
- Go to https://www.sbh4all.org/resources/public-resources/ and check out current resources and SO MUCH MORE!
The School-Based Health Center Improvement Project published a report called “Right Place, Right Time, and School Based Health Centers Improve Care for Adolescents.” One of the main concepts that stood out to me is ‘self-efficacy.’ Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997). Self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment. Each of these abilities serve as a contributor to one’s overall self-esteem. SBHCs should adopt this concept because it simply realigns one’s ideas to focus on what he or she is doing in support of his/her own well-being to ultimately increase his/her self-esteem. Once we help one, we help all.
Self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.
Deciding on what type of health care provider to utilize can be difficult and confusing. There is a plethora of options to consider. With the following steps, one can narrow down what maybe his or her best option is.
(Components of Self-Efficacy (Source’s: Bandura, 1997))
Speaking to someone can change the trajectory of some one’s day and raise their self-esteem. The following are a few things that anyone can do to increase the number SBHCs around the country. By following the steps within the blog, you can make an impact on not only enhancing self-esteem for adolescents but also for young people’s total health.
- National Helpline. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline. Updated June 11, 2020. Accessed September 09, 2020.
- Ben-Joseph EP, ed. School-Based Health Centers (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/school-based-health.html. Updated July 2015. Accessed September 9, 2020.