Supporting Student Mental health and Wellbeing in Schools
In the wake of the pandemic, our children's mental health has taken a significant hit. Recent data from WHO suggests depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
Schools play a crucial role in helping our children cope with their mental health issues. Teachers can provide students with emotional support by asking them how they’re feeling and providing a listening ear when needed. Schools can also create positive environments for students by offering interactive classes to keep them engaged and encourage socialization amongst peers.
Here are a few ways to foster wellbeing in the classroom:
1. Create a Calm Environment: Teachers can design the classroom to be calming and stress-free by playing soft music, having comfortable seating options, and using dim lighting or natural light if possible. This can help create an environment that promotes relaxation and positivity.
2. Encourage Mindfulness: Teachers can encourage students to practice mindfulness by leading brief meditations, breathing exercises, or encouraging quiet reflection time. It’s important for students to learn how to calm their minds and focus their thoughts in order to reduce anxiety and stress.
3. Promote Physical Activity: Physical activity is crucial for wellness and positivity. Teachers can integrate short physical activity breaks into the day or lead classroom yoga sessions to help students increase their energy levels and wellbeing.
4. Integrate Positive Language: Teachers can use positive affirmations and language in their interactions with students. This can help build a positive atmosphere in the classroom and foster a sense of self-confidence and belonging.
5. Set Realistic Goals: Setting realistic goals can help students build confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Teachers can work with their students to set achievable goals and celebrate their progress along the way. This can help improve the overall mental health of the classroom, promoting happiness and wellbeing.
Additionally, schools should establish systems that recognize warning signs of psychological distress such as decreased motivation or frequent absences from schoolwork or class activities. By recognizing these signs early on, teachers can provide appropriate supports for students who maybe struggling due to the pandemic-related hardships they are facing.
Overall, it is important that we continue working together to help our kids manage their mental health post-pandemic. By creating supportive environments both at home and at school, we can ensure our child’s wellbeing during these trying times.
At Little Yogis Academy, we are committed to providing our students with mental health resources and support. We offer mental health workshops, mindfulness and wellbeing classes, and a variety of after school clubs that foster community-building and social connection. Additionally, our teachers are trained in recognizing signs of mental health distress among their students and how to appropriately respond. We recognize the importance of providing our students with a safe and nurturing environment.
In addition to these services, we encourage all parents to stay informed regarding their children’s mental health and wellbeing as they navigate this difficult journey. We believe that by engaging in open communication and providing resources, parents can better support their children and help them find healthy outlets for stress.
If you or some you know is suffering, please see below provincial mental health support:
Talk Suicide: 1-833-456-4566 or talksuicide.ca
Offers toll-free support to people in Canada who have concerns about suicide. Phone line available 24/7 or text 45645 between 4 p.m. and midnight ET.
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
Youth mental health support available 24/7.
Children’s Mental Health Ontario Centres: cmho.org/findhelp/
100 member organizations operating in every region in Ontario, providing treatment and support to children, youth, and families. Free. No referral required.
Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
Offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Phone and chat counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.
LGBT Youthline Ontario: 647-694-4275 + https://www.youthline.ca/ (chat, text and email currently available)
Ontario-wide peer-support for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirited, queer and questioning young people.