We’ve all experienced occasions when we’ve felt under pressure. As parents and caregivers, there are several things we can do to support our children and teenagers be mentally healthy.
Some children and teenagers have benefited from being out of school, while others have struggled since the coronavirus outbreak has kept them at home and away from their peers. Others may be dealing with family issues, loss, or changes in their living circumstances.
With national and local limits being evaluated on a regular basis, kids may have to deal with self-isolation as a result of a school epidemic or another period of school closure, or they may be concerned about contracting or spreading the virus. It’s still unclear what kind of adjustments we’ll see in the future.
For the most part, these feelings will fade over time, but there are always things you can do to support them emotionally and help them deal with the issues they confront.
- Create a sense of belonging.
Children’s positive adjustment, self-identification, and sense of confidence in others and themselves are all dependent on them feeling connected and welcomed. Promoting mental wellbeing requires strong, positive relationships among students, school staff, and parents.
- Encourage resiliency.
Adversity is a part of life, and being resilient is essential for overcoming obstacles and maintaining good mental health. Resilience can be fostered via connectedness, expertise, helping others, and successfully overcoming adverse situations.
- Enhance abilities.
Children must believe that by their activities, they can overcome obstacles and achieve their objectives. Academic success and the development of particular abilities and interests help children feel competent and better capable of dealing effectively with stress. It’s also crucial to have social skills. Having friends and staying in touch with them can help you stay mentally mental.
- Maintain a positive and safe school atmosphere.
Students’ academic and mental health depend on them feeling safe. Encourage positive attitudes like respect, responsibility, and kindness. Negative actions such as bullying and harassment should be avoided. Ensure an adult presence in common spaces such as corridors, cafeterias, locker rooms, and playgrounds, and provide simply understandable norms of conduct and fair discipline processes. Teach children how to stand up to a bully by working together, encouraging them to reach out to lonely or excluded classmates, celebrating acts of kindness, and reassuring them that adult support is available.
- Teach and reinforce positive decision-making and behaviors.
Set clear expectations and provide support on a regular basis. Teaching social skills, problem solving, and conflict resolution to children is beneficial to their mental health. “Catch” them in the act of succeeding. Positive feedback acknowledges and reinforces other people’s valued actions or accomplishments.
- Encourage to assist others.
Children must believe that they have the ability to make a difference. Self-esteem, connectivity, personal responsibility, and possibilities for positive acknowledgment are all enhanced by pro-social acts. Being a part of the community is reinforced by helping others and participating in activities.
- Encourage physical health.
Good mental health is aided by good physical health. Healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep insulate children from the stress of adversity. Negative emotions such as worry, anger, and despair are also reduced by regular exercise.
- Educate staff, parents, and students on the signs and symptoms of mental health, as well as how to get help.
Information helps to remove the stigma associated with mental health and allows adults and students to identify when it is time to seek help. Mental health specialists in schools can provide helpful information on the symptoms of disorders such as depression or the danger of suicide. Changes in habits, disengagement, impaired social and academic performance, irregular or changing conduct, and increasing bodily complaints are examples of these symptoms.
- Ensure that students have access to mental health services at school.
School psychologists, counselors, and social workers can provide a range of mental health services for students, including universal mental wellness promotion and behavior supports, as well as staff and parent training, identification and assessment, early interventions, individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, and referral to community services.
- Offer a full range of mental health services.
School-based mental health treatments are part of a larger continuum of mental health services for children and adolescents. Make connections with mental health resources in your neighborhood. Be able to provide parents with names and phone numbers.
- Form a crisis management team.
It is critical to be prepared to respond to a crisis in order to protect students’ physical and mental health. Administrators, security personnel, and mental health specialists should all be part of a school crisis team that collaborates with community resources. The team also provides mental health prevention, intervention, and postvention services in addition to safety.