Without proper support, students’ mental health and family issues can lead to poor academic performance, behavioral difficulties, and, in extreme cases, self-harm or suicide. Counseling can help students address issues like low self-esteem, academic pressure, and peer relationships, as well as more severe issues such as depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, or abuse.
While counseling is important to ensure children feel safe, develop resilience, and reach their full potential, schools also play a large part in improving social and emotional wellbeing in children.
In this article, we share a few tips on how you and your school can create healthy and safe environment for students.
Learn more about embedding social-emotional learning into everyday school life by attending this two day workshop. Click here for further details.
1. Take care of yourself before taking care of students
It is natural that teachers tend to take care of others instead of themselves. However, a state of chronic stress can lead to burnout. Self-care is not selfish. Spend time taking care of yourself and doing things to bring about positive feelings, for example, going outdoors and spending time with family and friends.
2. Promote healthy habits for students
Helping students develop healthy personal habits promotes their well-being and mental health, both in and out of school. Schools can support students with guidelines and workshops on how to adopt and maintain healthy habits, with regards to their sleep, nutrition, exercise, screen time, and relaxation time.
3. Become a beacon of support in your community
To best support students’ needs, they need to have access to supportive individuals both in therapy and within the wider school community. By engaging in proactive, community-wide practice, and becoming an advocate for students’ and your colleagues’ well-being, you can become an important resource for them to turn to in a time of need.
4. Create a healthy, pro-active school climate
Social and emotional wellbeing can be integrated throughout the school environment through activities for students, parents, teachers, and school leaders. For example, equipping teachers with basic counseling skills to engage children and talk about different issues, providing clear and practical guidance for parents on how to address needs and crises, and helping school leaders to implement a whole school wellbeing plan, can all contribute to a healthy school climate.
Gain further support in how to implement the advice above by attending the ACAMIS training workshop, specially for international school teachers, counselors, leaders and others in student support roles. This valuable training opportunity will take place at American International School of Guangzhou, from November 9-10, 2019. Click here for further details.