How Can Schools Promote Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing?
It can be intimidating to bring up the subject of mental health and students, but there is reason to be hopeful: Early intervention is effective in addressing 70% of mental health cases in children. Getting ahead of mental health disorders and providing support to those in need benefits at-risk students before their mental health problems worsen. What’s the good news? There are numerous ways to accomplish this.
While technological tools such as web filtering and monitoring are important for student safety and can aid in the early detection of mental health issues, we believe it is even more important to learn how to identify students who are struggling with mental health issues and focus on helping students become resilient. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you raise mental health awareness in your school and foster a positive mental health culture.
Schools can support students in developing:
- Social and emotional skills and capabilities that promote life-long mental health and wellbeing
- Skills to problem-solve and manage the normal stressors of life
- Healthy relationships and the ability to work cooperatively with others
- A sense of autonomy and purpose.
Here’s how schools can start taking a comprehensive, multilevel approach to mental health awareness:
Encourage healthy eating and body neutrality
Schools should serve balanced, nutrient-dense meals to students and educate them on the importance of eating healthy. Healthy eating provides students with the energy they require to care for themselves, succeed academically, and maintain good mental health. It is also critical for schools to teach and remind students that their physical and mental health is more important than their body shape.
Encourage social time
Schedule 30 minutes or an hour every week where students can be social and focus on something other than the curriculum. Encourage them to chat with their peers and complete a task together, like a difficult problem or a challenge.
Promote positive self-esteem
Teachers should provide students with the skills necessary to resolve interpersonal conflicts, cope with bullying, and deal with setbacks. It’s important to boost students’ self-confidence by supporting healthy decision-making, assertiveness, and self-determination.
Spreading awareness across the nation
Teachers and administrators can work to raise awareness among their students until mental health education is made mandatory in all schools. The concept of self-care and responsibility for one’s own mental health and wellness, with an emphasis on the fact that mental health is an integral part of health, and the concept of recovery from mental illness are key elements to highlight.
Teachers and students should be taught how to recognize warning signs of developing mental health problems, and there should be opportunities to learn about and manage mental health crises, such as the risk of suicide or self-harm. Furthermore, education should focus on the link between mental health, substance abuse, and other negative coping behaviors, as well as the negative impact of stigma and cultural attitudes toward mental illness.
Because teenagers spend the majority of their day at school, it only makes sense to incorporate mental health awareness and education into the curriculum. Students will be able to get the assistance they require if we empower them with knowledge and encourage dialogue.
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