How We Can Support Mental Health In Schools
The relevance of mental health and behavior in schools has risen in recent years, demonstrating how children’s mental health has a substantial impact on their academic achievement and, subsequently, professional success.
With studies indicating an alarming rise in the number of children and teens suffering from mental health difficulties, the burden is on schools and educational authorities to offer appropriate help so that kids may overcome their problems and live healthy, normal lives.
The first step in providing mental health care in schools is to raise awareness. Students must be educated about mental health in order to recognize the indications, know where to get assistance, and maybe be able to assist others.
Not only that but including mental health education into the curriculum will improve awareness and understanding of individuals who are struggling, eradicating any stigma or societal misunderstandings and replacing them with a positive and accepting one. This, in turn, would substantially improve the lives of students who are having difficulties, maybe even reducing their symptoms.
Few steps can be taken to tackle the uprising issues of mantle health and overcome issues by taking proactive measures:
- UNDERSTAND MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS WITHIN THE SCHOOL
It’s beneficial for teachers and administrators to have a top-down perspective of any children who may be having mental health issues at school. While most schools and instructors have a strong understanding of their students’ specific histories and circumstances, the first place to start is to check for any mental health concerns and ensure sufficient assistance for them.
- CONSIDER HAVING SOME MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING
You’ll be more able to talk to kids about how they’re feeling if you know and grasp the foundations of mental health. You’ll also be able to utilize the correct language and recognize the various warning indicators.
- EDUCATE PARENTS AND STUDENTS ON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
For kids, this may involve posting mental health check-in ‘reminders’ throughout the classroom or presenting a mental health lecture (more about this below).
You might want to host a mental health event for parents so that they can learn more about how mental health is supported at school and ask questions.
- HAVE A PLACE STUDENTS CAN GO TO TALK AND A STRONG OPEN-DOOR POLICY
Students feel comfortable and safe approaching any member of staff with an issue if the school has a strong open-door policy. Even if instructors aren’t particularly well-versed in mental health, having an open readiness to listen and ensuring that kids are aware of this would go a long way.
- CREATE A SAFE, POSITIVE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
Recognize when kids make good choices, such as assisting a classmate, displaying compassion, or preparing diligently for an exam. Teachers may contribute to a positive and supportive environment by praising acts of compassion and understanding.
- ENCOURAGE GOOD PHYSICAL HEALTH.
Teach children the value of physical health and how physical and mental health are intertwined. Physical health education is likely already included in most schools’ curricula, but specialized classes or workshops on healthy eating, physical activity, and stress management will all help your kids develop a strong body-mind link.
- ENCOURAGE SOCIAL TIME
Social time is critical for kids to operate effectively; it allows them to focus on something other than schoolwork and examinations, and it allows them to bond and establish friends.
- MAKE MENTAL HEALTH PART OF THE CURRICULUM
Mental health is still considered a taboo issue, and many individuals are ashamed to discuss it – especially at school. To address this, it is critical that mental health be prioritized in your school and integrated into the curriculum as much as feasible.
- ORGANISE A WELLNESS WEEK
Host a Wellness Week that focuses on a variety of well-being issues to bring mental health and well-being to the forefront of your school. This will benefit both kids and staff, and if feasible, you may even be able to invite parents to some of the events.