Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

Student mental health has been a significant concern for the past few years. Today’s youth are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.

The 2019 United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention report on mental health among high school students in the United States is quite interesting. The report states that over 1 in 3 high-school students experienced persistent sadness. They also have hopeless feelings during the past year.

ICA also found that suicide rates among youth aged 10-19 years in Singapore have increased from 4 to 100,000. Moreover, it has increased from 5.5 to 100,000 between 2019-2020.

What are the Mental Health Problems of Students?

Students with mental illness are more than feeling sad sometimes. It can affect one’s daily functioning, personal growth, and relationships.

Poor mental health can make it difficult for adolescents to concentrate. It also makes it difficult to complete routine tasks.

Mental health issues can also cause risky behavior. These could include dangerous sexual encounters. In addition, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and physical violence are also included. Schools and families must support young people’s mental health.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

It doesn’t matter where you teach. You could teach at an American public school or a Singapore high school. Students all over the world need intensive and sustained mental health support. As an educator, you can do many things to help students.

Schools’ health objectives:

  1. Promotion of good health.
  2. Prevention of diseases.
  3. Early diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of defects.
  4. Children can awaken a healthy consciousness about their health.
  5. Implementation of the program.

Common mental health disorders among students.

Reports show that one-fifth of students have mental health issues. Students are most likely to have

  • Depression
  • Attention disorder.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Tourette syndrome.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

Schools have many resources that can use to diagnose and treat most problems.

Schools can have psychologists, counselors, social workers, and teacher aides. They also have learning development classrooms, timeout classrooms, and other teaching options.

Recognizing Mental Health Disorders in Students

Students who cannot sleep and have low self-esteem suffer from mental disorders. Students who show signs of anxiety and feel sad may be suffering from depression or anxiety.

Students may skip school to be at home. It is because they fear leaving their comfort zone. Attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often influence students’ behavior. Students are highly energetic and have difficulty staying focused or sitting still.

They may find it difficult to remain still. So they move about the room without thinking.

An eating disorder is one disorder that might not be obvious to students.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

A student who has an eating disorder may have difficulty learning. Teachers can look for signs and symptoms of eating disorders in students. These are withdrawal or isolation, weight loss, or baggy clothing.

Substance abuse is another critical area. Most often, students who have been using substances display unusual behaviors. Unusual behaviors like slurred speech, staggering, falling asleep, or hyperactivity are essential.

How teachers can help students with mental health disorders

It is expected that teachers will be able to work with students for six hours per day.

It would be a simple job if they could teach the subject matter. Their jobs are much more difficult.

Teachers can be parents, counselors, or disciplinarians. Teachers must prepare lesson plans, write grade papers, coach, mentor, teach, and attend parent communications. There are fifteen to thirty students in a classroom.

Even if five students have mental health issues, it is still a significant burden on the teacher. He must teach material that is designed to help students pass state tests. He also needs to deal with mental health issues children may have.

Teachers may also have mental health problems that they must address daily.

1.      Refresh your mind.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

Other teachers may warn you about a student in your class. However, if they say something negative about that student, it can cloud your view of them. It is before you even meet them. Reframe a conversation positively if you notice a conversation getting out of control. Ask the teacher what they did well? You can develop your relationship with that student.

2. You can draw on your past experiences but not necessarily rely on them.

Each school year brings new students and teens with diverse backgrounds and personalities. You can think back to the techniques you used last year to help your “difficult students.”

3. Get in the right mindset.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

Students with emotional or behavioral issues want to succeed in school but struggle to control their emotions. Do not label them as “attention seekers” or “slackers.” It would be best if you worked to be as patient as possible.

4. You can expect some forgetfulness and disorganization.

Missing homework or papers is not something that children who are sad or afraid will worry about. MHA’s Youth Screening revealed that 92 percent of 11-17-year-olds had difficulty concentrating. And that 91 percent were easily distracted. It might be possible to email homework assignments to parents. You can do it if your schedule allows. Or, you could provide written instructions so students can refer to them later. Use the task or reminder tools available if you use technology in the classroom.

  1. Reduce classroom stress.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

Avoid rigid deadlines. Give homework assignments that are due within two days. Do not lower grades because of non-academic reasons. Non-academic reasons such as messy handwriting. Gamify your lessons to make them more interesting for students. It is for those who have trouble focusing.

6. You should look into evidence-based programs to support emotional and social learning.

MHA recommends the Pax Good Behavior Game. It is primarily for students younger than 18, the Positive Action Program, and the Raising Healthy Children Program. These programs combine social and emotional learning with a higher earning potential and lower crime rates.

7. Look for the positive and celebrate it.

Teens and children who struggle with emotional and behavioral issues often find school more difficult. They have low self-esteem. They might be more sensitive than their peers. It may be harder on them. Please give them the praise that is sincere and generous. Don’t downplay their weaknesses. Reassure them that they can eventually master challenging assignments. It can do it with practice and hard work.

8. Make sure you are aware of the options available for accommodation.

If your child or teenager continues to have difficulty, IEPs or 504 Plans may be able to help you provide the support you need. These options can be suggested to parents if necessary. They may not know that this type of additional help is available.

9. Avoid embarrassment.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

Avoid embarrassment when dealing with disruptive students instead of reprimanding them in front of their classmates. You can take them aside and out into the hall to explain the problem. Make sure they understand the problem and what you expect of them.

10. Exercise compassion.

There is no substitute for kindness, patience, and flexibility. However, teachers bring a lot of compassion to the table. It’s easy to lose sight of it when there are 30 students and 4 lesson plans to go through. It can be hard to get everyone on the same page. You don’t have to be a saint. But it is possible to remain calm.

11. Partner with your parents.

Parents might see behavior at home that they don’t see in school and vice versa. Open communication with parents is key to ensuring consistency. It also minimizes misunderstandings when working with students with emotional or behavioral difficulties. You should have a plan to communicate with parents more frequently than others. This will ensure that you are up-to-date. What is happening in the classroom and that you can also fill them in on the details at home.

12. Take time for yourself.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

You can de-stress at night and on weekends to bring your best to school. You may be the one who takes a hot bath or the one who exercises regularly. It doesn’t matter what you do; it just matters that you find the right balance.

13. Teachers can offer the following accommodations to students:

  • Extra seating near the door to permit students to leave class during breaks.
  • Assigned classmate as a volunteer assistant.
  • The class was allowed to have beverages.
  • Tape recorder use.
  • Photocopy or note taker of notes from another student.
  • Feedback on academic performance.
  • Exams can be given in an alternative format; such as essay versus orally.
  • Use assistive computer software to aid them in understanding or speaking better.
  • Test-taking may take longer.
  • Take a break from the noise and distractions in an isolated, non-distracting exam room.
  • Substitute assignments for specific circumstances.
  • Permission to submit assignments handwritten and not typed.
  • Written assignments can be used in place of oral presentations or vice versa.
  • Additional time is required to complete assignments.

Teachers Helping Mental Health

You can tell if your child’s teacher is not welcoming to parents. Or retaliation against students who report back to their parents, dropping grades. And you can report fatigue or making negative comments about teachers.

Bullies can happen to teachers. They are often older teachers or veterans of the school. Each school has at least one teacher that can be identified as having favorite or mistreating students. Teachers’ bullying is complicated. Because it can be difficult to distinguish between disciplining and abusing students. Although teacher bullying is uncommon, it has been seen in schools.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

Another way your child’s teacher might be hindering their success. It may be by not listening to them.

And to ensure they can tell you what they need to do if they do, it is essential to keep them informed. There are always cases of retaliation.

As a parent, you can help implement such policies by working together with the school.

What can parents do?

It would be best if you documented everything in order to make changes in your child’s education.

It didn’t happen if it wasn’t documented.

You can help your child manage their mental health issues by making sure they are receiving treatment. It is possible to be aware of any triggers your child might encounter and to teach your child how you would handle them.

Be open to communication with your child’s teacher. But don’t get defensive if they share bad news. If your child does something wrong, do not defend them.

Your child must know that you will not allow him to do wrong at school or at home. Your child should make sure he takes their medication on time each day. Your child’s teacher will work with you to create a learning environment that is conducive to learning.

Teachers Can Help Students with Their Mental Health: 13 Best Tips

Your child’s teacher should know that you are there for them and appreciate their help. Don’t make your child’s teacher an enemy. Your child’s needs will be met if you work together.

Volunteer to help your child in school or in the classroom.

This will allow you to learn more about the challenges teachers face every day, as well as how they respond to your child’s negative situations. You can also train the teacher impromptu and help them to deal with mental health problems. Be open to receiving feedback from the teacher regarding your methods. Open-mindedness is key. When faced with difficult situations, be a role model for other parents.

Take a bow

Today’s student mental health is much more complicated than ever. A strong support network can help adolescents with mental illness, and their families recover faster.

Teachers can be proactive in supporting struggling students and their families.

Your students will feel more secure and supported in your classroom if they feel loved and respected. They’ll be more able to take care of themselves and seek the help they need.