On Burnout and Mental Health

We talk to counselor Joni Hine

Conversations about treatments for mental health have certainly come a long way in recent decades. Influencers like Simone Biles and Michelle Obama have challenged society and biased opinions. They have chosen to talk about mental health openly. These inspirational women let us know that feeling overwhelmed and taking a day off is ok. 

No matter the age, mental health affects everyone, and it is time we leave society’s negative opinions behind. Historically, mental health and illnesses meant shame and disgrace. Families would lock their mentally ill members in rooms to hide them from everyone because they were different and would not fit into “society.” 

Today we are more open about mental health and its effects. But, mental health is still a challenging topic, especially for teenagers. Sharing feelings with people who may not get what you feel is a lot to consider. We face the possibility of misunderstood feelings or rejection. We do not want to feel like a bother or a burden to someone. It takes a lot to admit you need help. For this reason, we spoke with Joni Hine, a Communities in Schools (CIS) counselor at Heights High School, about her efforts to get teenagers to beat these odds.

Joni Hine started her line of work fresh out of college with a master’s degree in social work. She began her career in New Braunfels, Texas, working for CIS, a non-profit organization that gives students a community of support and empowerment. 

Over time, she learned to adapt her services to the unique school community and the needs of each student. She understood that many youths do not have people who listen to them. Vulnerability is hard, but Hine makes these students feel comfortable talking by validating their feelings. 

Though more and more people are talking about mental health, we do not acknowledge that “burnout” occurs. Talking about it and not blaming people for taking time off and knowing their needs is new. 

According to Hine, signs of burnout are when you hear yourself saying, “I don’t feel like hanging out with my friends even though it makes me happy.” Another sign of burnout is not taking in any more information because your brain is filled to capacity. 

Hine and CIS are making a difference here at Heights by encouraging conversations and providing a listening ear. To anyone struggling with mental health and afraid to reach out, Hine says, “help is there, and all mental illnesses are treatable.” Mental illness is not a personal failure. If you are struggling with any mental illness, do not be ashamed, and do not be afraid. It may be your battle, but you do not need to fight it alone.

Communities in Schools is located in Room A120, A220 and A160. 

They are open Monday through Friday 

from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Questions? Call 713-865-4419