What Works for Improving Mental Health in Education?
Mental health is an essential component of a person’s overall well-being. For students, having good mental health is crucial for their academic success, personal growth, and social development. However, mental health is often overlooked in educational settings, leaving students struggling with anxiety, depression, and stress. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in improving mental health in education, and research has shown that certain strategies and interventions can effectively support students’ mental health.
Here are some practices that can work for improving mental health in education:
1. Provide Mental Health Education
Educating students about mental health can help break the stigma surrounding mental illness, reduce the likelihood of bullying and discrimination towards those struggling with mental health issues, and promote mental health awareness. Teachers and school counselors can incorporate mental health education into their lessons, including topics like stress management, self-care, resilience, and coping skills.
2. Encourage Physical Activity
Physical activity not only contributes to physical health but also has positive effects on mental health. Encouraging students to engage in physical activity, whether through physical education classes, sports teams, or after-school programs, can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being.
3. Foster Positive Relationships
Feeling connected and supported is important for good mental health. Schools can implement programs that promote positive relationships between students and staff, provide opportunities for peer support and mentoring, and encourage students to participate in community-building activities.
4. Offer Counseling and Support Services
Schools can provide counseling and support services to address students’ mental health needs. School counselors are trained to provide counseling, support, and mental health referrals. Schools can also provide emotional support animals and therapy programs to students that require additional support.
5. Address and Mitigate Bullying and Harassment
Bullying and harassment can have a profound negative impact on a student’s mental health. Schools should develop and implement policies and procedures to address and mitigate bullying and harassment to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment.
In conclusion, providing mental health education, encouraging physical activity, fostering positive relationships, offering counseling and support services, and addressing and mitigating bullying and harassment are strategies that can work for improving mental health in education. These practices can help promote students’ overall well-being and academic success, uplift their mental health, and create a safe and supportive learning environment for all.