How Schools Educate Students About Mental Health

Mental health has been stigmatized for many years due to society’s stereotyped views about mental illness and cultural beliefs. Mental health involves a person’s mental state, feelings and psychological well-being.

Factors of mental health include biological factors such as genes or brain chemistry, life experiences, trauma or abuse; or a family history of mental health problems.

Some other issues that affect students today can be exam pressures, bullying, friendships,
relationships, poverty, or family issues. These issues affect the student’s mental health, concentration from learning at school, attendance, social interactions and working with others.

These factors necessitate schools and teachers to develop strategies to help students struggling with mental health issues. As a result of mental health issues, students may experience depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse and even suicide.

Usually, children are afraid of reaching out for help because they are scared that they would feel like they are being judged and may feel embarrassed because of their cultural beliefs.

Schools also need to assure that not all students are going through the same way and may react differently than others. Some schools have already initiated various programs to support students struggling with mental health issues. For instance, the “R U OK? DAY” campaign is a community awareness program that empowers individuals to connect with people around them by asking a simple question, “Are you okay?” 

Schools organize stress-free activities on
this day, including dramas that help students to identify signs of anxiety and depression
and provide information about available support. Schools also teach students how to
express their feelings, support their friends, and where to seek help.

Another initiative that schools have taken to educate students about mental health
is through the school curriculum. Mental health is a unit part of the curriculum in all primary and high schools.

The inclusion of mental health as part of the school’s curriculum is a smart way of educating students about mental health and well-being, making them more comfortable to reach out for help.

The curriculum teaches students how to manage their mental health and well-being and support others. Also, society must break the stigma surrounding mental health and take mental health issues seriously.

It is a significant barrier to seeking help, making it difficult for students to come forward and ask for support. Society must work towards normalizing mental health problems to support those struggling with mental health issues.

In conclusion, schools play a vital role in educating students about mental health. By
incorporating mental health education into their curriculum, conducting mental health workshops, providing mental health resources, and offering mental health programs, schools can help students manage their mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding
mental health issues.

Furthermore, providing mental health training for teachers can ensure that students receive the support they need when they need it. Schools that prioritize mental health education create a safe and supportive environment that can positively impact the lives of their students.
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