Are you a school administrator looking for ways to boost the morale of your students? Giving kids space to focus on their mental troubles will help them perform better, which strengthens the school’s identity as a whole.
If you’re looking to get started, here are some ways that you can support the mental wellness of your students.
It’s crucial to hire staff that are professionally trained to handle the mental ups-and-downs of student life. Run the numbers and ensure that you have enough workers available to take care of every student.
The minimum needed staff will vary depending on how large the student body is:
- School counsellors are necessary to give students someone to talk to about day-to-day triggers.
- Psychologists are for larger conflicts, and to help ease long-term anxiety and pain in students.
- Social workers will help your students go through external issues feeling supported.
Providing school-wide cyberbully courses
Unfortunately, no matter how safe you make the school environment, the internet exists. Though technology provides many learning benefits, and helps kids stay engaged and happy, sometimes it can be used dangerously. Students, staff, and teachers can all be responsible for or complicit in cyberbullying.
The US has a reputation for dealing with this type of abuse, but cyberbullying in Dubai, India, and Brazil are serious issues. Whether your school has known cyberbullying issues or not, you should invest in school-wide internet programmes and courses.
Train teachers in mental health
Though the bulk of the mental wellness in school responsibility should be delegated to the staff specifically trained, teachers should know how to handle situations. Consider implementing mental health training courses for your teachers.
You should emphasise to teachers the importance of creating open door spaces for their students, where young people feel comfortable talking about issues with their educators.
Extend lunch periods and run lunchtime clubs
Most schools schedule an average of 30 minutes for students to have lunch, but some districts are considering extending lunch breaks.
The purpose of longer lunch is to give students more space to explore themselves outside of studying with extracurricular. Survey current students when thinking about extending lunch. Ask questions about whether they feel satisfied with the lunchtime schedule or now. Take in all the concerns when determining how long to extend the mealtime.
You can also question whether students would enjoy having club meetings during lunchtime. If your student body is interested, allow them to coordinate with teachers to set up the schedules.
Organise a Wellness Week
Every school should implement a wellness week every semester to educate students. Offer workshops on healthy eating, crafting a self-care routine, and active listening. Listen to the student body, and try to tailor the week to the content that they desire. Get teachers and staff involved in the week as well.
Make sure that you continue to give students resources and education outside the single week. As an educator, it’s your duty to ensure that students feel safe and taken care of while they are learning.
Student mental wellness = school wellness
If the student body is miserable, the school will suffer. Though studying and doing well are important, ignoring the emotional and mental needs of students will lead to a negative school environment. Talk with colleagues and fellow staff members about how to make education more mindful of the learners.
Teacher and staff happiness is also crucial. The resources listed above not only help students but also help the educators in the system. Healthy teachers and staff reflect positively in the school culture.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.