Mental health plays a substantial role in the safety and overall climate of a school. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 in 5 adolescents has a diagnosable mental health disorder and even more show signs of depression.1 Educators also struggle with mental health, with recent surveys suggesting half or more describe themselves as under high levels of stress and in a “not good” mental health condition.2 These issues can disrupt the educational environment and lead to negative outcomes for students. By focusing a lens on mental health, schools can support and promote the safety of all members of the school community through new initiatives and fresh perspectives on existing practices.
“Mental health plays a substantial role in the safety and overall climate of a school.”
Education has consistently been identified as a high stress occupation that takes a toll on the mental and physical health of practitioners. Mindfulness techniques, which focus on awareness of your thought processes and being fully present in the moment, can help you cope with stress inside and outside of school. Here we offer some tips and resources for practicing mindfulness. (Read more…)
School safety has been a topic of concern for educators, parents, and researchers for decades. It is important for students to have a safe learning environment to ensure they have the best possible opportunity to succeed academically. Further, it is necessary to discuss the many factors that influence student perceptions of safety, so stakeholders can determine best practices for creating a school climate conducive to academic success. (Read more…)
Fear of violence at school is a particularly concerning issue that can lead to truancy, weapon carrying on school property, poor academic achievement, and other unfavorable outcomes. Learning more about what ‘fear’ is and what contributes to student fear can help educators reduce the negative consequences associated with being afraid or perceiving risk while at school. (Read more…)
Similar to adults, students are just as likely to encounter trauma either through personal experience or indirect knowledge of disasters that have occurred. These traumatic events can include the death of a family member, classmate, or teacher, violent event and a natural disaster. Unlike adults, however, students cope with trauma differently and often experience grief or symptoms of trauma at different time periods. 1,2,4 Trauma experienced from a disaster manifests in different ways across various age groups and can range from feelings of fear, shock, anxiety, depression, anger, denial, loss of sleep, dissociative behavior, substance abuse, and even physical stress. (Read more…)
1 Office of Adolescent Health. (2016). Adolescent mental health disorders. Retrieved from www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-development/mental-health/mental-health-disorders/
2 American Federation of Teachers. (2017). 2017 educator quality of work life survey. Retrieved from www.aft.org/sites/default/files/2017_eqwl_survey_web.pdf.