- Written by Michael Todd Eylander
A new national survey from the Washington, D.C.-based American Psychological Association suggests that student stress levels are rising. Teens all over the United States have felt negative effects caused by schooling that can or do affect most aspects of their lives.
“... hard numbers tell us kids are more anxious and depressed than they’ve ever been,” stated Michael Bradley, a psychologist of Pennsylvania.
By definition, stress is classified as either “eustress” or “distress.” Eustress is defined as, “...beneficial stress…” While distress is defined as, “...extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.”
Stress can be experienced by anyone, over anything. Typically, students feel stress from one, more or all of the following stressors: school, jobs, sports, social lives, lack of sleep and family obligations. However, the biggest stressor of students aged 13-19, is school.
“More than a quarter of students nationwide [27 percent] say they experience ‘extreme stress’ during the school year, vs. 13 percent in the summer, and 34 percent expect stress to increase in the coming year,” Sharon Jayson, a former USA Today reporter wrote in an article on teen coping methods.
Jayson also said, “The report warns that teens are at risk of a variety of physical and emotional ills and potentially shorter life spans than their elders if they don’t act to ‘reverse their current trajectory of chronic illness, poor health and shorter life spans.’”
Many unhealthy habits such as not sleeping, caffeine drugs and smoking tobacco or otherwise, can potentially be acquired by these students as negative coping methods to deal with the excessive stress levels. Coping methods are strategies to help deal with and resolve stress and anxiety related issues, but they can be positive and negative. Avoid negative coping mechanisms such as self-blame, self-mutilation, denial, violent behavior and drugs or alcohol. Positive coping methods include venting, relaxation, moderate physical activity and sleeping.
Kristen Race, Ph. D., from Steamboat Springs, Colo. wrote, “If you look at teen suicide statistics, stress is one of the things that leads to suicide attempts. It’s incredibly important to have downtime.”
A survey taken amongst Froid High School students in grades nine through 12 suggests that 60 percent of the students in Froid feel extreme stress during the school year, 36 percent feel medium stress during the school year, and four percent feel low stress during the school year. However, the same study revealed that during the summer months, 72 percent of students feel low stress levels, 20 percent feel medium stress levels, and eight percent feel extremely stressed.
“I think students today stress so much because there’s a lot more distractions than what we had when we were in school. They don’t know how to prioritize. I think this is funny, because especially for the seniors going into college, you’re going to go to college for the first year, then you’ll figure out what real stress is,” Ken Taylor, interim superintendent and counselor of Froid Public School said.
While Taylor’s opinion seems to lack sympathy and appears as accusation towards the students, he elaborated with, “A big thing is the cell phones. It’s almost as though the entire generation is attached to their cell phones and that’s how they communicate and run their lives. So you have constant interaction and constant communication; how are you supposed to concentrate? While these differences seem small, they make a huge differences from one generation to the next.”
While Taylor may seem to have a point, another study done by the American Psychological Association declared American teenagers the most-stressed generation, a title formerly belonging to late Generation X and early Millennials.
In an interview with Dr. Nancy Brown Ph. D., of Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Palo Alto, Calif., Brown said, “I think the reason your generation [approximate ages 13-25] experiences more stress is because the bar of success has gone up a huge amount. We were ready for adulthood when we turned 18. We were cooking and taking care of ourselves before we even left the house. Most of us weren’t even expected to go to college to get an education; a lot of us went straight to work. Your generation is not ready for adulthood because your bar has been set so high. You have to get a four-year degree. All the research says so.”
However, even with the rising stress levels to put the young adults down, Brown admitted, “Every generation has been smarter and healthier than the previous, and I think you guys will be no exception. Every generation has its troubles; yours is stress and anxiety, ours was drugs and sex. We got through it and so will you. I have a lot of faith that your generation will make decisions that will benefit all of us.”
According to the American Psychological Association, a healthy level of stress is about a 3.9 on a 10-point scale. American teens vastly exceed this number with an atrocious 5.8. American adults weigh-in at 5.1. It should be alarming and almost terrifying that student stress levels are similar and exceeding to that of an adult.
American Psychological Association CEO and executive vice president Norman B. Anderson, PhD said, “In order to break this cycle of stress and unhealthy behaviors as a nation, we need to provide teens with better support and health education at school and home, at the community level and in their interactions with healthcare professionals.”
One interesting form of reducing stress in students is a policy being practiced in several parts of the world and the nation already. That is banning homework. Some say eliminating homework is a useless practice and will make grades suffer. Others however, have said that reducing homework, making it count for only a small percentage of grades or yes, even banning it altogether has efficiently reduced stress levels and increased student morality. Examples of such practices include that in 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District passed a policy in which homework could not account for more than 20 percent of a student’s grade. If presented and implemented, this system of reducing, reducing value of, or banning homework could very well efficiently and literally effortlessly reduce stress, anxiety and depression in America’s teenagers.
Editor’s note: Froid High School senior Michael Todd Eylander wrote this story for a journalism class.
- Written by Jaimee Green
Busy stores. Crowded parking lots. Stress. Fatigue. An ever-growing Christmas to-do list. And yes, the million dollar question; ‘What does everyone want for Christmas?’
But for many, the season of giving is about getting away from the commercialization and anxiety of the season and more about getting back to time kept traditions and tapping into the true spirit of the holidays. It’s about awakening the feelings of joy and selfless giving that resonate from within or hearts.
This year, Roosevelt Medical Center is asking the community to pause during the busy holiday season and remember friends and loved ones by taking part in the Comfort and Joy Project. Through the project, participants can honor or memorialize loved ones through varying minimal donation options, while also sending in heartfelt cards for the residents.
“We wanted to create a feel-good project that had the potential to bring joy to the residents all year long. The holidays are a time for cherishing loved ones who are with us and who have passed and creating joy in the lives of others. This project celebrates those emotions while enhancing the lives of our community’s aged population for the better,” said Jaimee Green, RMC Marketing and Foundation director.
The donation levels include a glass bulb for $10, a lighted bulb for $20, a hanging crystal for $30, a snowflake for $40, or, a glittered angel wing ornament for $100.
The names of those being honored or memorialized will be placed on cards that will hang next to their designated ornament or lighted bulb on two trees that will be displayed in the lobby of RMC and at First Community Bank.
RMC is also asking donors to take the time to fill out the attached holiday card with a message for the residents to enjoy, some of whom may not see their families during the holidays. Each heartfelt greeting will be displayed in a special area in the Sun Room, where all of the residents can enjoy them.
Every penny raised during the month-long fundraiser will go directly toward enhancing the quality of life for the residents who call RMC home. Funds will be used to help support the aviary and to purchase items that will create a more home-like atmosphere in the Sun Room, where RMC was recently able to install new, more energy efficient windows. Some of those wish-list items include an electric fireplace, hanging pictures, flooring and window coverings. Funds may also be used to refurbish the 37-year-old, wooden, dining room chairs.
“Many of the items that we hope to raise money for will be enjoyed every day by the residents and will help recreate the Sun Room into an area that is reminiscent of their own homes. These are not items we are able to give a line item in the budget, so it only through the generosity of the community that these types of projects can be successful,” Green added.
Formally known as the Lights of Love, the project has been a time kept tradition at RMC for many years. This year, small changes were made to create an opportunity to build on the previous model to include the holiday greeting cards for the residents.
If you would like to participate in the Comfort & Joy Project, brochures will be available at First Community Bank, and at the lobby at RMC on Dec. 1. They will also be inside the Healthy Neighbors newsletters set for mailing through the United States Postal Service in early December. For more information, contact 787-6476.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
(Editor’s Note: The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office distributes an inmate roster each week with charges and communities of residence to help keep the public informed and to illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility. Names on the jail roster are those of everyone incarcerated and persons booked into the jail during the previous week and does not necessarily mean there is a new charge or conviction. Some individuals might be serving time for a previous conviction.)
As of Monday, Nov. 16, 10 inmates were housed in the Roosevelt County Jail. Valley County Detention Center was holding three females to alleviate overcrowding.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail between Monday, Nov. 9, and Monday, Nov. 16:
•Frank Baker, 33, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs;
•Amos Bridges, 39, Wolf Point, criminal contempt warrant;
•Jason Daugherty, 37, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs [two counts], criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, attempted assault on a peace officer or judicial officer and resisting arrest;
•Aaron Etner, 33, Fresno, Calif., partner or family member assault;
•Jason Fridge, 30, Williston, N.D., driving under the influence of any drug;
•Christopher L. Hovey, 26, Williston, N.D., out-of- county warrant;
•Kevyn Johannesson, 26, Williston, N.D., fleeing or eluding a peace officer, criminal endangerment and obstructing a peace officer;
•John Menz, 31, Poplar, driving under the influence, criminal child endangerment, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal endangerment, driving under the influence - detectable level of intoxication and driving under the influence of any drug [narcotics.];
• Jim Simpson, 47, Culbertson, driving under the influence - first offense;
•Melissa Toavs, 35, Wolf Point, disorderly conduct, bonded out of Valley County Jail;
•Monte Walton, 35, Poplar, endangering the welfare of a child, violation of a protective order, first offense, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Medicine Lake Superintendent, Tiffani Anderson, was recently chosen as the North Eastern Region Superintendent of the Year and was recognized at the Montana Association of School Superintendents at the fall conference in Bozeman. Anderson is one of nine Montana superintendents who received the honor. The region encompass schools from Hinsdale-Sidney, Bainville-Westby. The other Superintendents nominate an individual based on how active they are in their school and community. Anderson is in her fifth year as superintendent in Medicine Lake. She previously taught in Brockton for seven years and is a graduate of Froid High School. Pictured are (left to right) Laurie Barron, Anderson and Randy Cline. (Submitted photo)
- Written by John Plestina
Results of municipal elections held Tuesday, Nov. 3, will not be official until the Roosevelt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office canvasses the election Thursday, Nov. 12.
Jaimee Elizabeth Green was elected unopposed to the Ward 2 Culbertson City Council seat with 52 votes. Incumbent W. Bruce Houle was reelected in Ward 1 unopposed with 35 votes.
As in most communities, Culbertson’s voter turnout was low at 26 percent.
In Bainville, Scott Ross elected to a four-year term unopposed with 22 votes. The voter turnout was 27 percent.
In Brockton, Rae Jean Belgarde defeated Rodney Burshia 6-2 for a four-year term, and Gregory J. Brugh Jr., defeated Stacy Stangland 6-1 with a 10 percent voter turnout.
In Froid, Gregg Labatte and Gale Strandlund were elected to four-year terms with 48 and 47 votes respectively. There were no other candidates. The voter turnout was 54 percent, the highest of any community in Roosevelt County.
In Poplar, John Q. Grainger with 15 votes and Derrek Bridges with eight votes appear to have been elected to four-year terms on the city council. Others receiving votes were: Michael Dimas, 6 Curry Kirn, 6; Howard Azure, 5; Dallas O’Connor, 5; Charles Pollock, 5; Ward Dehner, 4; Greg Gourneau, 4; Rick Kirn, 3; Gary Sadler, 3; Billie Norgaard, 2; Frank Smith, 2; Rodney Standen, 2; Krystal Atkinson, 1; Arthur Baker, 1; Donovan Bridges, 1; Keith Erickson, 1; Patricia E. Iron Cloud, 1; Kevin Kennaugh, 1; Robert Macannally, 1; John Morales, 1; Griffin Ricker, 1; Kenneth Trottier Jr., 1; and Marjorie Youpee, 1.
The voter turnout in Poplar was 17 percent.
In Wolf Point, Bill Juve might have been elected to the Ward 2 City Council seat with two write-in votes in the municipal election Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Ashley Moran, who was appointed to the council from Ward 2 in 2014, did not file for election. Juve is the unofficial winner with the two votes. He would have to accept election to the council. David Allen, Karen Babcock, Dave Brownlee and Susan D. Johnson each received one write-in vote. Ward 1 councilman John Plestina also received one write-in vote in Ward 2.
In Ward 1, incumbent Laurie Evans was reelected to a four-year position unopposed with 24 votes. Plestina, who was appointed to the other Ward 1 seat in September, was elected to a two-year position unopposed with three write-in votes.
In Ward 3, incumbent Craig Rodenberg was reelected to a four-year position with 129 votes.
In Ward 4, incumbent Judy Page was reelected to a four-year position with 104 votes.
Roosevelt County Clerk and Recorder Cheryl Hansen reported a 30 percent voter turnout for Wolf Point, with the highest turnouts on the north side with 44 percent in Ward 3 and 40 percent in Ward 4. On the south side, 19 percent of Ward 1 voters cast mail-in ballots and just 6 percent from Ward 2.