As the majority of schools plan to head back to in-person learning this fall, educators will be faced with balancing the academic recovery and mental health needs their students will be brining into the classroom. While many people are happily returning to “normal,” many students and staff continue to experience the lasting mental health effects of the pandemic.
Dr. Scott Poland, nationally recognized crisis responder, suicide prevention and student mental health expert, and Vector Training course author, recently shared in a webinar we hosted that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:
According to Dr. Poland, it will be more important than ever for school staff to be prepared to recognize signs of stress and potential warning signs of youth suicide, and have strategies and resources in place to address these issues, as they return this fall.
School staff have made extraordinary efforts to support students during the unprecedented pandemic. Your children and students are looking to you to see how you are handling this very difficult and anxiety provoking time. Model coping and hope! Relationships are crucial. It is important to ensure that every student has a go-to-adult at your school. Specifically related to youth suicide, Dr. Poland makes these recommendations:
For additional strategies and resources to prepare school staff to address student mental health needs this fall, explore the series of on-demand webinars Vector Solutions has hosted with Dr. Poland.