A student’s mental health is an essential aspect of one’s academic and life success. However, in recent times, the deteriorating mental health of students is a growing concern among the stakeholders.
In the year 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted some shocking figures on the mental health conditions of adolescents. 15.7% of adolescents (between the age groups of 12 to 17 years) made suicide plans due to depression and substance use. The same report highlighted a bigger number (36.7%) of students who had persistent feelings of sadness.
Clearly, the mental health of students needs more attention in this post-pandemic era. Hence, many accredited online schools and traditional institutions focus on developing skills like resilience and problem-solving to help students enjoy sound mental health.
Fortunately, we can lead our youth towards healthy adulthood by focusing on their holistic development!
But for this, we need to be proactive and build sound relationships with the students
Let’s explore some ways in which teachers/stakeholders can support their student’s mental health:
1. Manage lifestyle
Studies have proved that lifestyle factors play a vital role in de-stressing an individual. Hence, by modifying these factors teachers/stakeholders can help students to improve their mental health. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, meditation, and loads of physical activity helps in protecting the mental health of students.
Teach the students the importance of these healthy habits. And encourage them to follow regular bedtime. A good amount of sleep improves an individual’s productivity. And it also reduces the chances of lagging behind in studies.
You can make use of innovative techniques to support lifestyle changes in students. So try structured activities that promote physical exercise and let them gain knowledge about these topics through projects or collaborative activities. Managing lifestyle can be a game-changer for students who are at risk of mental health disorders. So seize each opportunity to promote this aspect in your everyday interactions through on-campus or online classes.
2. Promote interactions
The recent pandemic has intensified several challenges for a large section of our community. Home isolation and a shift to online classes have disconnected many students from their peers and friends. It is important for us to understand the power of communication to improve the mental health of our students. Hence, we must encourage more interactive sessions. And look for ways for students to catch up with each other. Engaging students in discussions and group activities are an excellent way of promoting meaningful interactions. This reduces their overall stress levels. And makes them enthusiastic about socializing and even learning.
Now that many students are taking up online classes, try to help them learn good etiquette to interact in an online class. You can also make it more fun by adding elements of the best online teaching pedagogies used in top accredited online schools. Brainstorming sessions, flipped classrooms and student-led instructions are wonderful ways of promoting interactions amongst the learners. Help your learners to build strong interpersonal relationships. And it will help them to stay happy and connected with their friends and classmates.
3. Relaxing activities
Daily rituals (like writing down your blessings), mindful breathing exercises, swimming, meditation, etc. can be wonderful ways to de-stress students. Encourage them to take up these activities. And set aside a couple of minutes in your class to discuss the long-term advantages of these activities. Other than these activities, students can also take up painting, coloring, and sketching, etc.
Setting aside some time for these activities can help an individual to enjoy the blessing of life. Besides, it also improves one’s attention span and performance during any task. Simple stress-reducing techniques help to settle the rampant thoughts in one’s mind. In addition, these techniques are also believed to reduce the long-term risks associated with stress-related disorders.
4. Better planning for academics
Reducing the academic burden is also a wonderful way to help students enjoy sound mental health. However, in many cases, it is not as simple as it sounds. Academic burden is a part and parcel of traditional schooling. And many students lead highly stressful lives full of peer and academic stress. To help such students, stakeholders can encourage them to take up more relaxed schooling options like 10% digital schooling. This can add a level of flexibility to their study schedules. And help them to thrive with the help of high-quality virtual resources.
A good academic base also reduces stress levels. And this age of digitalization offers cost-effective solutions to help learners across all stages and age groups. Encourage the use of virtual resources over and above their regular educational content. It will improve your student’s technological skills. And help him/her to thrive in a secure learning environment.
5. Positive Thinking
Another way of helping students to support your student’s mental health is to help them develop a positive thought process. Negative emotions can distract students easily. But by adopting a positive attitude towards life, they can learn to combat difficult situations easily.
Post the pandemic, several educational institutions have focused on their student’s mental health. Because the global impact of the pandemic aggravated the mental health issues for many students over the past couple of years. As per studies, many students reported signs of depression, stress, anxiety, and a reduced level of resilience because of the pandemic. And the best way to deal with these challenging times is to help students develop positive thinking.
Despite the hardships created by the global pandemic, there is a silver lining to the dark cloud. The growing trend of online education has expanded learning opportunities without increasing the cost of high-quality education. Fully accredited online schools and post-secondary institutions have offered unprecedented support for avid students during these uncertain times. By encouraging students to make the most of digital learning, stakeholders can improve their academic base to support their overall mental health. These new-age learning opportunities create deep learning experiences. In addition, these are also highly flexible ways of completing education within the safe settings of one’s home premises.
Simple lifestyle changes and mindful activities can create a lot of difference in improving a student’s mental health. Help your students to fight the stress. And pave the way for a better life through your unconditional love and handholding!