“Emotional health is an integral part of overall health, as physical and mental health are intricately linked (1, 2). Sound youth mental health—which is more than the absence of disorders—includes effective coping skills and the ability to form positive relationships, to adapt in the face of challenges, and to function well at home, in school, and in life(kidsdata).” Throughout the process of my research, this quote stuck out to me the most and the foundation for why I chose this topic to begin with. Children need to learn the correct tools to be able to grow up understanding how to take care of their individual emotional healths, as well as be able to carry those tools into high school, where mental health becomes significantly more challenging on the student population.
What You Need To Know:
“Problems related to mental illness are increasingly becoming the focal point of public concern over the safety and performance of schools, yet little is known about the availability and quality of school-based mental health services in the United States” (springer). Yes, little is known about school-based mental health options, as I found out trying to research this exact thing. After much digging, I feel like I am quite happy with my discoveries. First of all, the sad fact is that: “approximately 50% of US middle and high schools have any mental health counseling services available onsite and approximately 11% have mental health counseling, physical examinations, and substance abuse counseling available on-site” (springer). The availability for mental health access in these schools is lacking, I believe the first step would be tackling the problem on the middle school/ late elementary school level. By implementing “social-emotional learning” tactics, these students will be taught the most beneficial ways to be able to understand and cope with their mental health and emotional struggles on a level that they understand. “What I liked most about each one was that it supported social-emotional development while also reinforcing high expectations and goals by defining and measuring both the quality and degree of a student’s progress. When given clear expectations, students can improve their behavior and succeed.” Having clear expectation for what is expected of oneself can be both beneficial and anxiety-producing, and what is different about social-emotional learning from other teaching strategies is how they approach closing assignment: “In the reflection portion of the rubric, students are asked to reflect on what they found difficult or challenging that week, as well as what they could have done to help solve these problems. The students are also required to write down what they were successful at and why” (wgu). A simple action such as reflecting on what you had done well, and why you think so, can be so very empowering for young students heading into high school, and one of many tools social-emotional learning would teach them that they could then carry into high school.
What Can I Do?
well, please feel free to take my google form survey below to help me find out more about different schools’ situations!
I would love to hear from you! Please comment below and let me know what you thought about my topic as well and how I approached it, as well as any other comment or questions you may have!