News reports, research studies, and data released during the second half of 2020 have all confirmed that the pandemic is taking a serious toll on children’s social, emotional, and mental health. New data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that from March through October 2020, the share of mental health-related hospital emergency department visits rose 24 percent for children ages 5 to 11 and 31 percent among adolescents ages 12 to 17, when compared to the same period in 2019.
Mental health experts advise that even in the midst of the many challenges of teaching and learning during the pandemic, schools must identify approaches to address students’ social, emotional, and mental well-being. Children simply cannot learn when they are overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. How can schools support students in remote learning and socially distanced classrooms? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but several expert-recommendations include:
Courses are customized for grades 9-12 and 6-8, and each video-based course is broken into several 5-7 minute modules that feature diverse peer presenters, so students can more easily connect with each lesson. These flexible modules can be assigned individually or used in a facilitated group setting (in-person or online). The courses allow students to learn about topics they don’t normally talk about and help foster important discussions about these critical mental health issues.