Encouraging mental health awareness in the classroom
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Educators teach students about more than math and science. They also establish spaces where kids develop their social skills and learn more about themselves. It’s a critical place for introducing topics surrounding mental health, but that might be tricky to integrate into lesson plans.
If you’re wondering how to encourage mental health awareness in the classroom, try these tips and watch your students thrive.
1. Hang Special Posters
Teachers utilize their classrooms to establish safe environments, so play with your surroundings. You can figure out how to encourage mental health awareness at school by printing new posters.
Hang relevant material that students will see every day. Signs listing symptoms of depression or anxiety will normalize the conditions so they’re easier for kids to recognize and discuss.
2. Increase Their Self-Esteem
You can also discover how to teach mental health awareness through developing your students’ self-esteem. They’ll need more confidence to defeat discouraging thoughts that could morph into depression.
Merge mental health and classroom culture by giving students more responsibility in projects. When they succeed, they’ll gain confidence in their abilities and be better prepared to fight mental health symptoms.
3. Invite a Speaker
Kids might struggle with stress and anxiety because they’re scared. They don’t know much about the world yet, but you can expand their horizons by inviting a speaker. A professional in the mental wellness world will increase your students’ positivity by giving them valuable tools from their life experience. Young people will feel more positive about their future if they can see themselves in others who already achieved success.
4. Teach Healthy Outlets
Teaching about healthy outlets is another way teachers can learn how to encourage mental health awareness in the classroom. Give students more control over their mental health with tools to release pent-up daily anxieties or vent their stress.
They’ll deal with things by dancing, meditating or working on their art instead of relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms. Practicing these outlets even once a week empowers students to build a brighter future, no matter their personal battles.
5. Address Forms of Discrimination
Discrimination in the classroom can lead to symptoms of depression. It can come in the form of lessons that lack diversity or bullying among students. Addressing these issues is another way teachers can figure out how to teach mental health awareness.
Update your lesson plans so they include voices from minority communities and images that reflect people of different backgrounds. Talk about how bullying can take on multiple forms, like verbal or digital harassment. Students will be able to spot negative mental health symptoms if they can identify the situations sparking those issues.
6. Create a Safe Space
Combine your mental health and classroom culture concerns by creating a safe space for conversations. Talk about these issues with nonjudgmental word choices and tones. Encourage your students to come to you with any questions or concerns. They’ll become more open to mental wellness topics if they don’t feel judged or ostracized.
Encourage Mental Health Awareness in the Classroom
Educators can learn how to encourage mental health awareness at school by using these tips to change everything from the classroom environment to your lesson plans. Normalize these discussions and encourage students to come forward with concerns and develop the skills they need to take care of themselves.
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