Hi's Eye

Students feel the mental toll

Eve Crandall and Noelle Mesbah

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​President Donald Trump has fulfilled his promise to shake things up. One year after his inauguration, it seems there are new debates every day involving Trump’s words and actions.

Often, these new developments can only be discussed for a moment before another statement from the White House shifts America’s attention.

​With this constant flow of news, there is little time to process each new issue before another is revealed, which can put a mental strain on those being constantly bombarded with them.
“I’ve become numb,” said senior Cassia Harting-Smith. “When I look at the news I just expect something to have happened.”
In November 2016, a Hi’s Eye poll reported that 25.5 percent of WHS students supported Trump during the election. Many considered his campaign to be racist and xenophobic, especially if they were a part of a targeted group.
“The president has made it clear that we as people of color are not welcome in this country,” said senior Bri Rios, who is Mexican-American. “In terms of my mental health, it’s a heavy burden knowing you constantly have to protect yourself from people who are fine with supporting a man who promotes hate and speaks so disrespectfully about people like me.”
Mental health professionals across America have taken notice of the effects that Trump can have on people due to the influx of potentially anxiety-inducing news and offensive rhetoric. Young people may find themselves particularly affected, having to deal with political stressors on top of the traditional stresses of high school.
“I think the real reason this year has been so difficult is because I can’t escape news, which means I can’t escape Trump,” said junior Alex Sumas.
Despite these difficulties, Trump’s impact over the past year hasn’t been all negative for students such as Sumas. “The Trump presidency has also made me more active in politics,” she said. “I’ve realized that while I’m at a point in my life where I feel silenced, stuck with a president I couldn’t even vote against, I also can have a voice in other ways.”

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