How Technology Can Help Address Student Mental Health Challenges

How Technology Can Help Address Student Mental Health Challenges

It’s widely reported and understood that students today are struggling with increasing mental health challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic, youth suicide rates were on the rise. And now, as schools plan for the back-to-school season amidst surging COVID-19 cases in many areas, students will bring the trauma, anxiety, and mental health challenges of the past year with them as they return to the classroom.

Addressing Student Mental Health

While navigating the shifting guidelines and COVID-19 safety restrictions are a top priority for school administrators, addressing student mental health and wellness is also a top priority. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing student mental health, but some recommended best practices include ensuring that educators are prepared to incorporate trauma-informed practices into their teaching, implementing a social-emotional learning curriculum, and leveraging technology to surface early warning signs and trends that can help identify students who need help.

Ways Technology Can Help Identify Student Mental Health Needs

Technology can provide schools with multiple opportunities to uncover student mental health concerns. A few examples include:

  • Mental Health Check-In Surveys – Using a safety communications platform, like Vector LiveSafe, schools can prompt students to respond to periodic surveys about their mental health. For example, survey questions could can ask students to rate their mood or ask about how frequently they experience feelings of anxiety or depression. When surveys are conducted repeatedly over time, schools can monitor students for concerns or changing answers over time.
  • Tip Reporting Apps – Giving students access to an app-based tip reporting solution can put the power in their hands to reach out for help for themselves, or even enable them to anonymously report mental health concerns about their friends or peers who may need help. Mental health tips can be routed directly to the proper administrators, school counselors or mental health partners to help get students they help they need more quickly.

Schools face an increasing responsibility to address student mental health and wellness. With limited resources and understaffed mental health support services, it’s important for district leaders to look for opportunities to use technology to help. Technology won’t solve the underlying issues, but it can help improve the process of uncovering students who need help and connecting them with the mental health support resources they need before it’s too late.

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