Educating the Educators: A Lesson on Mental Health

Mental health issues often go unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of the school day, and because of this, stigmas arise from some students falling behind or acting out because of their illnesses and other children not knowing the reason why and putting a derogatory term to the lacking behavior.

Mental health issues in public schools is a rising topic that needs attention to better the current system. Whether it be the stigmas that are introduced in public schools from the children, the mental health training for the teachers and staff, or the resources that are provided in the school, all of these areas need consideration in order to overall have a better experience for the children that need assistance the most.

“Nearly 1 in 5 students will experience a mental health disorder in any given year” (NAMI NC)

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, in North Carolina is specifically looking at revising a proposed mental health policy for public schools in Raleigh, North Carolina. This new policy introduces the idea for providing mental health training for staff, and to create a school mental health assistance team to improve staffing ratios and overall improve the quality of schooling for students with mental disorders.

Mental health disorders can greatly affect classroom learning and social interactions and they affect children in varying degrees. The statistic above shows just how common these mental disorders are in the classroom and because of this, there needs to be a wide range of staff that can help in different areas of mental illness ready to provide the support that these students crave. A safe and supportive environment is necessary to begin removing these stigmas in the school system and start on a track towards helping the underrepresented mental health issues in so many of these children.

Sources:

https://naminc.org/state-revising-proposed-mental-health-policy-outcry-schools/

http://www.acmh-mi.org/get-help/navigating/problems-at-school/

http://au.professionals.reachout.com/reducing-mental-health-stigma-in-schools

 

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3 thoughts on “Educating the Educators: A Lesson on Mental Health

  1. I definitely agree with your statements regarding the lack of mental health education in public schools. As a student who grew up in the public school system, I can confirm that there was little to no awareness around mental health. Due to this lack of awareness, I saw many of my friends and classmates who were struggling with mental health challenges of their own fall behind and be judged by their peers. It would be incredible if the North Carolina General Assembly would pass this new mental health training policy! Hopefully it will help improve the highly stigmatized issue.

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  2. I wonder how much the way school systems are made contributes to mental health? The way school works now is very industrial. You go to one class, get that knowledge. You go to the next class, get that knowledge. It’s almost as if you’re a machine getting updates.

    I feel any system that acts with default “assembly line” actions is limited in how much it can actually help in non mechanical problems. You don’t fix mental health problems with more funding. You fix it with better people and more understanding towards the individual in the system.

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    1. I think this is a very important point! The way our schools are set up now is, like you said, very mechanical and this greatly hinders creativity and the ability for students to become individuals. This could definitely affect the mental health of students and I think this is a big issue in our public school systems, especially in NC.

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