The importance of mental health during school closures and social distancing
School closures continue to extend throughout the country as stay at home orders are put in place. Educators are searching for ways to stay connected with students to ensure learning continues and to make sure students are staying healthy – physically and mentally.
All of the guidelines for staying at home and self-isolation can greatly impact anyone’s mental health, especially students who were already at risk. It is important for teachers to continue to have open lines of communication with students and to recognize when there needs to be interventions. One of the many benefits of technology is the ability to remain connected and in touch with students even when they are learning at home.
Fortunately there are several different resources teachers can use to communicate with, and give support to, students. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides resources and recommendations on its website for talking with students and helping them with changes resulting from COVID-19. Some of the tips for helping students include:
- Being a role model
- Being aware of how you talk about COVID-19
- Explaining social distancing
- Demonstrating deep breathing
- Focusing on the positive
- Establishing and maintaining a daily routine
- Identifying projects that might help others
NASP also provides resources for parents on the best ways to communicate with their children during COVID-19.
Another way teachers and students can stay connected is through our Impero Education Pro web-based software. Its messaging system and real-time monitoring functionality allows teachers to message students and assist remotely to provide live feedback, answer questions or lend support. The ability to communicate directly with students helps take away the feeling of isolation and provides some sense of normalcy as teachers and students communicate.
Staying aware during school closures
One thing NASP emphasizes is the importance of being aware of children’s mental health, especially during a time like this. Some students with pre-existing mental health problems, prior traumatic experiences or abuse, family instability, or the loss of a loved one may have more intense reactions. Some symptoms include sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, regression in behavior, irritability, aggressiveness, agitation, and poor concentration. If children exhibit any symptoms or significant changes in behavior for more than two weeks, parents and teachers should contact a professional.
With Impero Education Pro, teachers can use the real-time monitoring and keyword detection features to identify potential wellbeing issues or warning signs of at-risk behavior amongst students. This web-based software is designed to keep students safe in the online environment and support learners and their devices.
We are offering Impero Education Pro for free for the remainder of the school year to districts that do not already have remote monitoring software in place. To book a demonstration, click here.