Greenville Co. students “unmasking mental health” by working with Upstate groups

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) — Some Greenville County students are addressing mental health concerns among their peers.

The students are working to tackle the issue by joining forces with the South Carolina Regional Education Center Advisory Board along with Upstate non-profits and businesses.

One Greenville County student said there need to be more conversations about mental health, and more people need to get on board.

“It is very important to tackle this issue right now because we are losing so many people to mental illness and they feel like they can not talk about it and it’s a really big arising issue and it will only get worse if it’s not acted on immediately,” said Rhea Bijoor, a senior at Riverside High School.

“It’s quite a serious issue. We’ve had a number of suicides over the last couple of years, and just an uptick in the number of students reporting issues with anxiety. Teachers seeing an uptick in anxiety issues, and also difficulties just generally with either, not being able to handle emotions or really withdrawing. Feeling unmotivated and having difficulties coping with stress,” said Dr. Ellen Hampshire, Coordinator, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support at Greenville County Schools.

It’s an issue Bijoor said hits close to home.

“Unfortunately there was a death a couple of years ago due to suicide at Riverside High School, and it kind of left a lasting dark cloud over the school, and it became a real thing because not many people know about it and not many p