Student wellbeing and mental health

A spike in mental health issues of students 

 

It’s been reported in the news today, that the number of youths aged 12-25 reaching out for help with their mental health has more than doubled in the last few months.

It’s believed that corona virus social distancing measures, may well have contributed to pre-existing stressors and added new ones into the mix as well. Many students may be experiencing negative feelings including fear, anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness, stress, frustration, domestic issues, and concerns about the future.

How schools can help

 

ReachOut has estimated that up to a quarter of Australian youths could be experiencing mental health difficulties, yet 70% of those probably won’t seek help.

Perhaps they feel embarrassed and ashamed, or they simply don’t know where to look for help.

It may not be feasible for teachers and schools to identify every single student who is struggling with mental health issues, or provide one-on-one support for them.

However, there are organisations who have recognised the struggles for students and educators. They encourage open discussions and learning about mental health issues. Teachers and schools could play a pivotal role in encouraging students to access the help they need.

Free teachers resources are available

 

ReachOut for Schools have compiled classroom resources around 7 topics including:

  • Bullying
  • Mental Health
  • Resilience
  • Respectful relationships
  • Social Media
  • Study Stress
  • Careers

There are a few other topics to explore on their website too, including on specific to CoVid 19.

You can also access six teaching programs, which include online activities and action packs.

The Be You program run by Beyond Blue and partners, has been designed to promote mental health and wellbeing from early childhood up to the age of 18. Be You empowers educators by providing them with “evidence-based online professional learning, complemented by a range of tools and resources to turn learning into action”.

Beyond Blue also provide other programs with a range of curriculum-based resources and materials, and relevant, age appropriate information. Many of the resources have been developed for secondary schools and even tertiary institutions.

Sensability is a resilience program for students aged 12-18. The entire course, including it’s resources and activities, is available to download for free.

Secondary Schools Program  for years 8-10 is designed to teach important life-skills. The course is again freely accessible for educators and uses a range of interactive methods including small-group exercises and discussions, role-plays, deep-learning tasks and quizzes.

You can also direct students to the Youth Beyond Blue page, where they’ll be able to find information, videos, the Brave Program, check-in app, and group forums.

Year 12’s may benefit from finding out about thedesk too. It’s a free, online program that could provide students with the skills and strategies they’ll need to succeed at TAFE or uni.

 

You’re important too

 

“You cannot serve from an empty vessel” – Norm Kelly

It’s important that as valued and essential workers, you’re able to look after your own mental health as well.

ReachOut have a section for teacher wellbeing with tips and articles you might find useful.

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