Student Mental Health

Educators are often charged with responsibilities and challenges beyond their training in the school environment.  One of these challenges is responding to student mental health concerns; in this country 21% of youth between 9 and 17 experience symptoms of mental illness and of these students 70% do not receive proper mental health treatment.  Mental illness is disproportionately high among students of color and LGBTQ students and students of color are far less likely to receive treatment than their white peers.  School counselors, social workers, and psychologists are often responsible for far more students than they can possibly provide services for and, in many cases, teachers are the ones identifying and supporting students with mental health issues.

Below are some resources for educators confronted with student mental health issues and suicidal ideations:

What Students Say About Mental Health
Children's Mental Health: Strategies for Educators
The Second Wind Fund-About Teen Suicide

After reading through these resources, consider the following:

  1. How effective is my school at responding to student mental health concerns?  What can I do to improve this?
  2. Do I feel comfortable talking with students and parents about mental health concerns?  Why or why not?
  3. Do I know what to say and do if a student comes to me with suicidal thoughts?
  4. What do I need to learn about these issues?  How am I going to get this education?

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Culturally Responsive Urban Education
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