Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Victor Wembanyama on stage after being selected first overall in the 2023 NBA draft
NBA Mock Draft
Cavan Nicholas, Contributing Writer • May 27, 2024

Poster Problems: A Gender-Based Discrepancy in HHS’s Mental Health Resources

A representation of the 988 crisis hotline poster, and the lack thereof, in some HHS restrooms (Will Sartor)

About a month ago, in my AP Research class, a female classmate of mine walked into the room and announced to her friends something along the lines of, “The 988 poster fell down again. They need to get better tape or someone’s going to slip on it.” This comment surprised me— not because something had fallen off the wall; the bricks and tape are often like oil and water for paper fliers— but rather because I had never seen a 988 poster or any mental health resource in the HHS restrooms. 

988 is a national suicide and crisis hotline which launched in July of 2022. I had heard about it from my health class sophomore year but had never seen a poster at Hingham High School mentioning it. I turned to one of my male classmates, asking if he had seen one around the school. He said no, and we both shrugged it off. 

I remembered this exchange a few weeks back, and since then have made a conscious effort to try to find a 988 poster, or one like it, in any of the men’s restrooms. I found nothing, but figured I could be wrong. Typically, for something in The Harborlight, the expectation is to interview two classmates on the topic of your article in order to gain a better understanding and alternative perspectives of the subject. Though for this piece, I opted to conduct a survey to see if my observations were shared by other HHS students via a straightforward set of questions, which are depicted below:

The three questions on the survey, via Google Forms (Will Sartor)

In total, I received six responses, which include three boys and three girls. Admittedly, this is a less-than-ideal sample size, but from this small sample a clear theme emerged. All three of the girls responded “yes” to the third question, while all three of the boys responded “no.” The fact that a selection of three boys could confidently say they had never seen a mental health or 988 poster in the restroom, while all three girls said they had seen one or multiple leads me to believe that there is a discrepancy between mental health resources in HHS restrooms.

I hesitate to make any inferences about this situation, as of now. This is because, for one, the sample size should be larger. I need to receive more responses to get a better sense for HHS students’ views on the availability of mental health resources. Additionally, I have been unable to discern, thus far, who is putting up the posters in the bathroom in the first place. It may be the school, or it may be an activist club which happens to be majority female. Either way, the distribution of mental health resources should be equal and reflective of the student body. That much is apparent, however this is just to say that any “blame,” per se, may not fall on the school. The discrepancy could be the result of a student-run group only doing what they can.

I’m still looking into this issue, and if you (the reader) are a student at HHS, freshman to senior, and would like to help me by filling out the survey, and as a result increasing the sample size, that would go a long way. The link is below:





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