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Thanks to Teachers: Toby Anderson

Thanks to Teachers: Toby Anderson

A high school civics teacher gives a small talk on mental health that has a big impact on students.

North Buncombe High School Senior Celena Bussard says she and her classmates were discussing gun control in Toby Anderson's class when the discussion turned to school shootings and mental health.

"We talked about how that's a major cause of the shootings," says Celena "It's the kids who feel like they don't have anywhere to go, anyone to talk to. They get their emotional distress and burst."

Celena says that's when Anderson told the students they can always find help in the front office, with school counselors and the school psychologist.

"A lot of people had no idea there was emotional help in the office," says Celena. "And, so if you're having trouble with anxiety or depression, you can go and get help, and he says he's always there, open to talk to if you need somebody to talk to."

Celena says the talk came at the right time for her and many of her classmates, adding senior year is both exciting and stressful.

"Getting money for college, applying to colleges, going to school every morning. I know a lot of people work part time jobs which adds to the stress."

"Mental health, it's something many times, even as adults, it's something we're supposed to keep hidden, supposed to deal with it ourselves, so a lot of our kids attempt to," says Anderson. "Many of them don't seek out the resources we do have."

Anderson says he's humbled by the nomination and was simply doing his job. "I got one right that day," he says. "I was able to see that the kids needed to talk, so we talked."

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