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