Most of the globe is still reeling from COVID as society tries to find some semblance of normal. Families, businesses, and education were sent to the brink of chaos and the return to “normal” has not been easy. Among those greatly impacted were our children. They watched silently in isolation from friends and school, and they were deprived of security and consistency, the cornerstones of healthy development. While we have yet to see the true impact on student learning, we are already seeing alarming statistics on the toll this time period had on their mental health.
More than ever, educators are tasked with not only teaching their students, but they also play a large role in vigilance and support of their mental health. It’s all hands on deck as we strive to attenuate the impacts of COVID which are compounded by normal developmental angst. Following are just a few early statistics indicating the enhanced need for educators to focus on the mental health of their students.
- Teen suicides are project to increase post pandemic
Source: APA report
- Emergency dept visits due to mental health in children 12-17yrs of age increased by 31% and were 50.6% higher in girls year over year
Source: March Ed Week Report and June 18 CDC MMWReport
- There was a dramatic increase year over year for the number of students who have at least one major depressive disorder (MDE) or a severe major depressive disorder
Source: '20 MHA report to the '21 MHA report
- Anxiety and depression rates rose dramatically and were most pronounced in young people, with 82.88% of those who took an anxiety screening scoring moderate to severe and 90.2% of those who took a depression screen scoring moderate to severe
Source: Next Step's State of Mental Health in America 2021
It’s a tall order. Most educators are not mental health professionals. Talking about suicide, anxiety, depression, or even self-esteem can be intimidating. Many teachers report having a sense of foreboding due to the severity of the topic and their desire to not incur harm if they say the wrong thing. Districts are clamoring for solutions to assist with the rising mental health needs and to foster a positive school climate. Your role in student wellness is and will continue to be essential. If mental health is not second nature, how will you address these issues in your student body? You lead by example and you have what it takes to impact your students- whether you realize it or not. Having a partner to guide you can make all the difference. Instead of focusing on what to say or how to say it, having a competent partner means that you can focus on being present. We’re in this together. At BASE Education, our goal is for you to feel confident in your personalized approach to student wellness. Through an innovative online approach and familiar lesson plans, BASE is accessible and easy for everyone. ....
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