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What Educators Should Know About Mental Health

m_classroomEducators are often the first to notice mental health problems. Here are some ways you can help students and their families.

If you are an educator, you should know:

Behaviors to Watch For

If you observe one or more of the following behaviors, consult with a school counselor, nurse, or administrator and the student’s parents:

  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks
  • Seriously trying to harm oneself, or making plans to do so
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing
  • Involvement in many fights or desire to badly hurt others
  • Severe out-of-control behavior that can hurt oneself or others
  • Not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to make oneself lose weight
  • Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
  • Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still that puts the student in physical danger or causes problems in the classroom
  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol
  • Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Drastic changes in the student’s behavior or personality

In the Classroom

You can support the mental health of all students in your classroom and school, not just individual students who may exhibit behavioral issues.  Consider the following actions:

  • Educate staff, parents, and students on symptoms of and help for mental health problems
  • Promote social and emotional competency and build resilience
  • Help ensure a positive, safe school environment
  • Teach and reinforce positive behaviors and decision-making
  • Encourage helping others
  • Encourage good physical health
  • Help ensure access to school-based mental health supports

For more on this topic, see the full article on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services mental health website.

Source: MentalHealth.gov| Talk About Metal Health for Educators,  https://www.mentalhealth.gov/talk/educators | U.S. Department of Health & Human Services last revised 03/22/2019

To schedule an evaluation or to get advice about your child’s challenges, call or email a CHC Care Coordinator at 650.688.3625 or careteam@chconline.org

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