Working or learning in a school can be an incredibly challenging experience at this time in our world. With access to social media and the internet, as well as a highly charged political climate, there are social issues such as coping with bullying to pile on top of a school’s need to achieve higher standards and the pressure student’s are under for excellent grades, passing standardized tests, and preparing to enter the job market or college. All of these pressures contribute to our students overall mental health, for better or for worse.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,
“Undiagnosed, untreated, and inadequately treated mental illnesses significantly interfere with a student’s ability to learn, to grow, and to develop. Since children spend much of their productive time in educational settings, schools provide a unique opportunity to identify and treat mental health conditions by serving students where they already are”.
Luckily, there are ways that schools can incorporate mental health awareness and strategies into their missions and in the daily lives of educators and students. MentalHealth.gov suggests adding effective programs that focus on promoting mental wellness, such as promoting healthy emotional development, preventing mental health problems, recognizing risks, and identifying early intervention.
Our team of E-Therapy counselors work each day to help schools address the emotional well-being of their students and develop effective strategies to support the mental health of all students.
Here are 3 ways to embrace mental health awareness in your school:
Train schools and teachers
- Provide training to educators and staff – outside of mental health professionals – to know what behavioral signs to look for in their students. This helps with referrals and with getting students who might otherwise slip through, get the services they potentially need.
- Inservices or other trainings can focus on what to look for and who to refer the students to when concerns or questions arise about a student’s behavior.
- Our upcoming webinar, Ready, Set, Assess, focuses on this process and what you can do in your school. You can find out more info and sign up below.
Provide counseling via teletherapy
There are currently 7.7 million students with mental health conditions and approximately 50% are receiving services. Many schools are not able to provide services because they do not have the proper staffing to meet their needs.
Luckily, many schools and districts use teletherapy to help bridge this gap. With providers all over the country, they can offer more services. You can learn more about how these services work and how to add them into your school here: click to schedule a demo.
Mindfulness resources: classroom activities, apps
Another way some schools and classrooms are working towards improving overall mental wellbeing is by incorporating mindfulness into the classroom itself. Many teachers use techniques like breathing and movement practices to help students relax, find calm and focus before and during the school day. Teachers can incorporate these into their classrooms with apps or by leading a classroom activity, such as a breathing exercise before the lesson begins.
There are so many ways that we can work together to reach those students in need, and embrace Mental Health Awareness in your school. We look forward to helping you promote the healthy social and emotional development of all your students, shine a light on these conditions and what we can do about them.
For more information, or to get started at your school, please reach out to us and we can schedule a time to connect.
Free On-Demand Webinar
Effective school mental health programs continue to be a huge topic for educators – but what are the most important things to know and steps to take to build awareness in your school?
E-Therapy’s on-demand webinar series for educators, administrators, and teletherapists includes Mental Health: Ready, Set, ASSESS for SUCCESS!
Expert Makisha Gunty focuses on the question “Are your student’s symptoms getting better?” In the presentation she shares how to use free assessments to show clinical progress, talks about common expressed symptoms, accompanying assessments that are evidenced-based and free, and how to show progress over time.
- Interpret assessments that show clinical progress in behavioral health treatment
- Explain a way to monitor progress in behavioral health treatment over time
- Identify when your student’s behavioral health is getting better