Resources to Support Student Mental Health and Wellbeing
Mental Health America (MHA) states that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. During the era of COVID-19, we’re wary that fear and anxiety about the pandemic may be taking a significant toll on mental health. That’s why Impero is developing resources for students, teachers and counselors to support student mental health and wellbeing during this time.
In honor of Mental Health Month (which MHA has been leading every May since 1949), we’ve put together a list of resources about best practices for checking in with students, colleagues, friends, and yourselves.
Mental Health Month Resources
MHA offers free online mental health screenings to help people identify potential mental health needs. It also created a downloadable Mental Health Month Toolkit with strategies to help people improve their own mental health and increase their resiliency. Resources include:
- How to find the positive after a loss – whether it’s losing a job, a relationship, or the death of a loved one.
- How to create healthy routines.
- How to start a conversation with someone about their mental health.
Supporting Student Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19
MHA noted a 19% increase in mental health screenings for clinical anxiety in the first weeks of February and a 12% increase in the first two weeks of March. These numbers represent thousands of people whose lives and sense of wellbeing are being severely impacted by concerns about COVID-19, according to MHA.
Stress and anxiety stemming from the pandemic can bring about new mental health needs for those who have not needed help before and can exaggerate problems for those whose mental health is already compromised. MHA has created an information and resources page specifically related to mental health and COVID-19. It includes exercises to decrease anxiety, tips for parents on talking to kids about COVID-19, mental health resources for first responders and more.
The Centers for Disease Control also provides some guidance and suggestions for those who are overwhelmed by stress related to the outbreak. Some of their suggestions include:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
- Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Seek help if you feel overwhelmed or unsafe.
How Impero Can Help
Impero and Mental Health America recently produced a white paper with information about mental health in schools, and how parents and teachers can look for warning signs when a student is struggling. In the virtual classroom, teachers can use Impero Education Pro’s real-time monitoring and keyword detection features to help determine when a student might be having an issue. Impero Education Pro’s keyword detection features were developed with Mental Health America to create a keyword library specific to mental health concerns, so that teachers can help students who may be struggling. Or, for some tips on how to be a role model to students in the time of COVID-19, see this resource.
We are offering Impero Education Pro for free for the remainder of the school year to districts that do not already have remote monitoring/distance learning software in place. To book a demonstration of Impero, visit https://www.imperosoftware.com/us/book-demo/.