Increased awareness of the relevance of mental health and behavior in schools has emerged in recent years, demonstrating how children’s mental health has a substantial impact on their academic performance and, later, job success. With studies revealing an alarming rise in the number of children and teenagers suffering from mental health problems, the demand is rising on schools and educational authorities to offer enough support so that kids can overcome their problems and live healthy, normal lives as per Cheryl Pruitt. The first step in providing mental health care in schools is to raise awareness. Students must be educated on mental health to recognize the indications, know where to get treatment, and possibly be able to assist others.
Not only that but including mental health education into the curriculum will improve knowledge and understanding of those who are struggling, eradicating any stigma or social misconceptions and replacing them with a positive and accepting one. This, in turn, would considerably improve the lives of students who are having difficulties, possibly even reducing their symptoms.
Effects on Students
According to a 2018 poll by the National Education Union (NEU), nearly half (49%) of secondary school teachers claimed that pupils have attempted suicide as a result of the stress they are experiencing. Self-harm was mentioned by 81 percent as a means to cope with the pressures. 730 educators from early childhood, primary, secondary, sixth-form colleges, and FE colleges were polled. Overall, the results of the survey revealed More than half (56%) of students’ mental health difficulties result in self-harm, 45 percent of students indicated they had eating disorders, and 48 percent said they were having panic attacks.
When it came to determining the root causes, 82 percent of respondents said tests and exams have the greatest impact on student’s mental health 67 percent said it’s because of school pressure to do well 50 percent said it’s because of a narrowing of the curriculum and 48 percent said it’s because of pressure students put on themselves to do well academically according to Dr. Cheryl Pruitt. Mental illnesses can have an impact on classroom learning and social connections, both of which are important for students’ performance. However, by putting in place appropriate programs to support young people’s mental health needs, we can frequently maximize success while minimizing negative consequences for pupils.
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Schools Role in Promoting Awareness
Because 1 in 5 children has a diagnosable emotional, behavioral, or mental health condition, and 1 in 10 young people has a mental health challenge severe enough to affect their ability to function at home, school, or in the community, addressing mental health needs at school is vital. Although mental illness affects one in every four children and teenagers aged 5 to 19, several studies reveal that only one in four of them get the mental health care they require as observed by Cheryl Pruitt. It’s important to be able to recognize and assist children’s mental health in schools because:
- Mental health issues are prevalent, and they frequently manifest themselves during childhood and adolescence.
- They can be treated!
- Detection and intervention measures that are implemented early on are effective. They can aid in the development of young people’s resilience and ability to succeed in school and life.
The emotional well-being of young individuals is heavily influenced by their school environment. Teachers must have the confidence and knowledge to nurture young people’s development during school hours if children’s well-being is to thrive. Teachers, too, require assistance with their mental health throughout their careers. Schools can assist promote resilience and prevent mental health problems from forming in the first place by investigating the fundamental reasons for discomfort, whether it’s body image, relationships, or exam stress.
One of the significant issues presented by the NEU 2018 survey findings is that it demonstrates the extra lengths to which schools and colleges must go to serve vulnerable students – and how ill-equipped they are to do so. When asked about obstacles to assisting students with health disorders in their school or institution, 77 percent of respondents said funding was the biggest one, followed by the length of time it takes to seek specialized help (75 percent). Furthermore, more than half (54%) believe that financing for mental health support for students is insufficient.