How have the mental health needs changed in school settings in recent years?
• Starting younger
• More violent
• Students stay in school with major issues – in past may have been home
• More students on anti-psychotic meds, in regular education classrooms
• Parents may be in mental health crisis also
• Greater percentage of students with mental health issues/anxiety
• Incidence/Impact of substance abuse on youth with mental health issues
What are the gaps in terms of providing mental health services to students in your school/district?
• Lack of understanding diagnosis
• Transition of students back into district after placement
What can school staff do in general in order to promote better mental health for students?
• Systemically embrace mental health issues with our students
• Become educated about mental illness and the stigma that accompanies it
• Adopt language that does not perpetuate the stigma and secrecy around mental illness
• Through training have a better understanding of mental health issues – signs and symptoms
• Awareness of mental health/illness and how it plays out in schools on a daily basis
• Understand different pressures students face now
• Teach and model mindfulness to students
• Provide accommodations and flexibility to students
• Promote self-reflection
• Allow culture that makes it appropriate for someone to voice they are struggling
• Appreciate/value students and families
• Teach and model mindfulness