The Value of Integrating Mental Health with Education

Studies show that there is a significant number of individuals battling mental health issues. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in every 8 people in the world have a mental disorder (2022). Which adds to why we are seeing an increasing number of awareness campaigns every day. Most individuals do not have access to effective healthcare or are unaware of the resources available to them. Spreading awareness has been the key to combatting the mental health crisis in the United States. Most individuals are unaware of the ways mental health awareness can make a difference in saving lives.      

What is Mental Health?

Before we get to the fine details, let us get the basics out of the way, starting with the definition.

So what is mental health? Mental health refers to an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being (MentalHealth.gov, 2022). There are early warning signs that can provide educational staff with insight into interacting with students. If more schools would take a holistic approach toward interacting with students then it would present an opportunity to change, and save, more lives. Per the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System (YRBS), suicide is reported to be the 2nd leading cause of death for middle and high school-age youth (12-18) (2019).

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YBRSS)

YBRS functions under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a system that monitors six categories of health-related behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults.

Some of the health-related behaviors that are ported include:

  • Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
  • Sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection
  • Alcohol and other drug use
  • Tobacco use
  • Unhealthy dietary behaviors
  • Inadequate physical activity

YBRSS is a comprehensive system of surveys that includes:

  • a national school-based survey conducted by CDC and state, territorial, tribal;
  • local surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments.

Ways Untreated Mental Health can Impact the Academic Future of K-8th Grade Kids

Now that you have a general understanding of mental health, let us get down to business.

Here are some effects of poor mental health on the education/future of K-8th grade students;

  • Depression and Anxiety

3.2% of kids aged between 3 and 17 have been diagnosed with depression at least once (National Survey of Children’s Health, 2016). Now, take a wild guess at what is usually a leading cause of such scary statistics. You guessed right, untreated mental health issues.

That is why mental health awareness and education for these learners are essential.

  • Poor Performance

For kids to perform, they must focus fully on their studies. This is not possible if they do not have healthy minds. As a result, they may end up recording poor results (Mental Health America, 2022).

  • Misbehavior

Mental health issues often foster indiscipline and emotional outbursts. When this happens, kids are usually given detention/suspension as punishment.

Such segregation often takes a toll on the students and tampers with their self-confidence. In the long run, their academic future is also affected.

Value of Creating Holistic Learning Environments

To avoid such issues, educators must adopt a holistic approach to education. This is because it often comes with a lot of benefits, such as;

  1. Better Performance in School
    Holistic child development takes into account two important aspects of academic excellence. These aspects are; the student’s learning preferences and the environment. When properly implemented, these factors help in fostering the learner’s brain development. With this in place, there is no reason why a child’s performance should not improve.
  2. Improves the Child’s Emotional and Mental Well-Being
    Here, kids understand that emotional and social growth are as important as academia. Therefore, they grow in self-awareness, and their mental health improves. Ultimately issues such as adolescent depression become things of the past.
  3. Fosters Student Interaction and Better Understanding of Differences
    Holistic learning environments are known to mold all-rounded students. Teachers do so by impacting vital skills such as; listening abilities and comprehension of different views. They also teach learners how to interact with their peers.

Conclusion

At Aspire Day School, we employ holistic learning in our philosophy. With several successful school-based mental health programs, we are what your kids need. Therefore, if you are looking for a top school in this space, reach out to us, and we will get you sorted.

Check out our ‘Parent Resources’ section for more information!

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