School Leaders: Do you have the Right Tools to Address
Mental Health Impacts on Your Students?
E-Therapy recently launched its first mental health roundtable webinar – Risk, Recognition, and Responsibility: A Guide for School Leaders. If you missed it live, don’t worry because you still can sign up here to get your free email link to view the webinar, access downloadable materials and receive a certificate of completion to put towards PD hours.
During the 30-minute webinar, E-Therapy’s mental health experts discuss how to support urgent mental health needs of the whole school community, basic procedures to have in place, and details of what goes into a clinical risk assessment. Participants can gain resources for risk assessments for their PreK-12 students by downloading handouts to begin using at school sites now.
Meet the Presenters
Ashley Sanders is a licensed mental health counselor and worked closely with schools for over a decade. She is dedicated to supporting the mental health needs of students and educators.
Jon Ebert is a licensed professional counselor and is passionate about working with educators, youth, and families to help them establish connection and communication to achieve better mental health.
Read on for highlights from the webinar.
What We Know
Mental health has had an impact on youth and schools across the nation for the past 20 plus years. Over that time, those impacts have been building, and the provided supports at schools haven’t been able to keep pace with the need to combat many of the rising mental health concerns.
Not only are high school counselors feeling these affects, but so are elementary counselors. Many of them feel overwhelmed and underprepared in terms of tools and resources at their disposal to work with students who are suffering from mental health illnesses.
Because of this, it is essentially putting strain and stress on those who are on the frontlines, specifically the teachers in the classrooms who haven‘t been trained in how to support mental health needs in students.
“This, of course, is leading to a worst case scenario where we’re having systemic impacts that include teacher burnout. This ends up exacerbating the problem and impacts teachers’ ability to do all of the things they are educated and trained to do,” said Ebert. “Supporting students on campus is a shared responsibility, but teachers really are bearing the brunt of it since they are consistently interacting with their students.”
Over the last few years, mental health impacts have created several big issues that many schools are facing including not having enough therapists for students, teacher burnout, and the ability to address never seen issues, i.e. COVID, school closures, and hybrid/remote learning.
How We Can Help
There are solutions to these concerns. E-Therapy offers mental health services which can include social work, counseling and programs for the whole school community. We are committed to supporting students, staff, teachers, and administrators in developing their mental well-being while also partnering to break down common barriers in order to support mental health programming.
Our goal is to be proactive and not reactive.
School Risk Assessment Needs
According to the CDC, suicide was the second leading cause of death in children ages 10 to 14 in 2020.
Unfortunately, suicide risk assessments are a reality for schools. According to our mental health experts, over the last decade not only has the number of suicides increased, but the age range has dropped to include elementary students as well.
“One of the big things we see when we’re supporting schools nationally is that with increased students needing mental health supports we have increased students at risk of suicidal ideation,” said Sanders. “So risk assessments are becoming more frequent on school campuses impacting more students and therefore impacting more staff.”
At E-Therapy, we know there is a need for risk assessments to be performed, but not a lot of trained and qualified staff to do it. As a first step, we created a streamlined training video that goes over this process. Then, we can meet with school officials to learn about site specific needs inorder to create a manual for suicide prevention.
Help at a Glance
- Consultation with a mental health expert
- Suicide guidelines tailored to your school
- Intensive training for student support staff — counselors, social workers, mental health professionals — on using guidelines
- Teacher training on warning signs of suicide and what to do if they are concerned for a students
Mental Health Offerings at a Glance
Our Comprehensive Assessment Bundle or CAB is a data-driven, evidenced-based assessment and screening bundle, available to students, that provides direct therapy services to those who have been identified by staff as needing immediate support for their mental health well-being.
- Student Intake process assessment
- Intervention therapy
- Develop strategies and skills
- Strategies to bolster ongoing well-being
- Determines progress towards goals
- Care plans
Available to students and educators, we offer our Solution-Focused Brief Therapy program because we understand the benefits of direct, one-on-one counseling support. Similar to CAB, participants receive evidenced-based, brief, and timely services focused on solutions and strengths.
- For educators and students
- Focuses on solutions rather than problems
To empower and equip teachers with the tools they need to recognize and respond to youth who might be struggling, E-Therapy created eQUIP, a self-paced online training platform that equips teachers to recognize, respond and then recover from the impacts of mental health illnesses we know the classrooms are feeling every day. We offer self-paced, engaging and interactive online content that can be immediately applied to the classrooms with a goal of building healthy schools, staff and students.
- Short (3-7 minute) power-packed video clips
- Interactive tools
- Downloadable resources
- New perspectives on mental health
Through our eWELLNESS program, we offer a six-week wellness series focused on staff wellness while also helping to build community within a school. These “closed” sessions allow for rapport building, more intimate sharing, and greater structure to accomplish identified goals. For those who can’t attend, there are one-time, “drop-in” wellness sessions available that promote specific skills in wellness areas. We also provide staff specific topics for counselors, social workers and administrators to help them handle emotional stress.
- Live, interactive virtual group sessions with LPC
- Share, connect, and focus on personal wellness goals
- Implement wellness strategies in work and everyday life for educators
- Promote adult SEL
PD to Fit Current Demands
Recently, we’ve become aware that the needs in schools are ever changing. We know educators need the current supports we offer, but also need current supports for things we’ve never seen including the effects from the pandemic. Therefore, as part of our mental health services, we want to personalize our professional development (PD) sessions to what it is an individual school needs as well as what support its staff needs.
Our PD is available in person or in a live, virtual format on a wide variety of mental health topics (see below) or coordinate with our team of educational mental health professionals for more personalized topics.
- Therapeutic Communications and Interactions
- Diffusing Disputes and Creating Connections
- Early Childhood Mental Health
- Student Mental Health Needs: Identification and Support
Does your school need additional mental health supports?
Watch our mental health roundtable here to learn more about how E-Therapy helps teachers, staff, and students tackle the mental health challenges they face. Also, download our mental health handouts and receive a certificate of completion to put towards PD hours.