Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s vital school staff and administrators recognize potential mental health issues in students.

The statistics surrounding mental health are alarming. Here are some statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • One in five children ages 13-18 have or will have a serious mental illness.
  • 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.
  • 90% of those who died by suicide had an underlying mental illness.
  • In 2017, suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 34. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The National Institute of Mental Health is a great resource for information on mental health as well as ways to get help.

It’s important for your staff to know and understand the link between student behavior and mental health. A student’s mental health affects his or her classroom behavior. When a student causes disruption in the classroom, it can often be an indicator of more serious issues.

Mental Health Awareness Tips

How can your staff identify and help a student with a potential mental illness? First, awareness is key. Be aware of the warning signs and changes in student behavior. If you have access to a school psychologist, he or she can be a valuable resource for students who may have potential mental health needs. If there isn’t a school psychologist readily available in your school or district, there should be a district policy or procedure you should follow to help students with potential mental health issues.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, warning signs of a mental illness include:

  1. Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than a two week period.
  2. Trying to harm or kill oneself, or making plans to do so.
  3. Severe mood swings.
  4. Drastic changes in behavior, personality, or sleeping habits.
  5. Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others.
  6. Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, including a racing heart, physical discomfort, or fast breathing.
  7. Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities.
  8. Significant weight loss or gain.
  9. Repeated use of drugs or alcohol.
  10. Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that can lead to issues in school.

How SafeSchools Can Help

We’ve created a Mental Health Awareness Tip Sheet to help you identify potential cases of mental illness. Click here to download.

Here at Vector Solutions, developers of SafeSchools, we strive to make schools a safer and more inclusive place for all staff and students. That’s why we’ve developed solutions to help your district meet those goals.

Our SafeSchools Online Training System offers courses to help schools train their staff and students on important mental health related topics, including

Staff Training

  1. Bullying: Recognition & Response
  2. Cyberbullying
  3. Making Schools Safe & Inclusive for LGBTQ Students
  4. Making School Safe & Inclusive for Transgender Students
  5. Student Mental Health
  6. Youth Suicide: Awareness, Prevention & Postvention 

Student Training

  1. Bullying and Cyberbullying (Grades 6-8)
  2. Bullying and Cyberbullying (Grades 9-12)
  3. Depression (Grades 9-12)*
  4. Good Decision Making (Grades 9-12)*
  5. Healthy Relationships (Grades 9-12)*
  6. Resolving Disagreements (Grades 9-12)*
  7. Stress & Anxiety (Grades 9-12)*
  8. Youth Suicide Risk (Grades 6-8)
  9. Youth Suicide Risk (Grades 9-12)

*Coming Fall 2020

We also offer SafeSchools Alert, our online tip reporting system that allows students, staff, and parents to confidentially report safety concerns to your administration 24/7/365 via mobile app, text, phone, email, and website.

For a free trial of SafeSchools Training or SafeSchools Alert, please fill out this form.