Mental Health Awareness Month- creating a positive school environment
Starting 69 years ago by Impero’s partner, Mental Health America (MHA), Mental Health Month aims to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of positive wellbeing for everyone. The month may nearly be over, but the issues surrounding mental health continue.
Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally –it’s important to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.
MHA has developed a series of fact sheets on the importance of exercise, diet and nutrition, gut health, sleep, and stress management.
How can schools help with mental health?
1) Identify the problem
Here at Impero, we want to do everything we possibly can to help teachers effectively identify and recognize issues in young people early, so they are able to get the support and care they need as soon as possible. This is why we have developed our keyword libraries and use real-time monitoring, incident captures and a log of all student activity. These features flag up potentially harmful, at-risk or inappropriate behavior, empowering teachers to protect and support their students successfully and improve mental health and wellbeing.
2) Recognize the warning signs
Teachers must be knowledgeable on the subject of mental health in young children themselves and know the signs and symptoms to look out for in their pupils. Changes in their attendance, interest, concentration or performance can sometimes indicate a problem, or they might have become disruptive and uncooperative. If they are able to recognize that a student is suffering with poor mental health and wellbeing, they could then seek the help of a therapist to determine if further action is needed to help the student.
3) Create a positive, trustworthy school environment
For some children, the school can be a safe and stable environment, compared to a potential disruptive setting at home. Having a sense of belonging at school may be important for the pupils and it is vital to create and maintain this setting in order to help their wellbeing.
Children must feel comfortable and able to come and speak to their teachers with any problems or issues they may have. Half of teenagers with mental health and wellbeing issues try to cope alone and lack the confidence to talk to a teacher about the issues they are struggling with. This barrier must be resolved. Perhaps teachers could create an ‘open door policy’, reminding children that their doors are always open if advice or support is needed.
NEW! Mental Health Keyword Library
With the help of Mental Health America and other incredible partners, we have developed our brand new mental health keyword library, whilst adding valuable keywords and phrases to our existing suicide and self-harm libraries.
Covering problems such as anxiety, depression, OCD, insomnia, bipolar and more, our new keyword library aims to protect students by alerting members of school staff to these issues of concern.
Impero Education Pro’s keyword libraries monitor devices on the school network, to capture and log instances of safeguarding risk to provide the context. School staff are alerted to this flagged activity and are empowered to discuss safeguarding concerns, offer counter narratives and intervene before an incident escalates.