As the new school year starts for many people, mental health should be a top priority for everyone involved with education. Whether you are a student, a teacher, or a teacher who also takes classes, there are several things you should be doing to take care of yourself.
Recognize the Signs
If you or someone you know has suffered a mental health issue, you likely know at least some of the signs of a potential problem. These may include things like feelings of sadness, lack of interest in activities you normally enjoy, major changes in eating or sleeping habits, and suicidal thoughts.
Some people struggling with these problems may also experience panic or an inability to cope with the stresses of life. If you experience these symptoms or you suspect that one of your students is suffering from a mental or emotional health issue, it is important to get help as soon as possible.
While many people suffer from these issues because of an inherited chemical imbalance, other factors, including stressful situations, problems in your personal life, and drug or alcohol abuse may also trigger them. When possible, anticipate these potential triggers, and be ready to seek help.
At times, you may need to make adjustments to reduce the influences of triggers. Students may need to cut back on the number of difficult classes they are taking. Teachers might need to be alright with their classroom not looking perfect, or they may need to cut back on the number of extra work-related tasks they take on.
Know When You Need Help
Unfortunately, sometimes people need help to overcome these types of issues. Do not attempt to push the problem aside. Know where you can turn for help. This may include family members, teachers, and professionals. If you are a teacher, especially at either the secondary or university level, you may want to let your students know about local resources for mental and emotional health issues. Be willing to help your students if they come to you for advice.
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