Teachers often spend more time with children than parents do, so why are most teachers not trained in mental health disorders? Sure they are underpaid, but at the end of the day, educators teach because they have a passion for helping children learn.
Textbooks are not the only way children learn. They need to learn coping skills, how to treat others, and much more! Children often spend their days with a loving caregiver, so when they begin school, they still need someone who is skilled in providing the care they need. This makes mental and emotional health awareness and training for teachers a necessary part of the job. Besides, who wants to be that cranky, disconnected teacher?
2 Training Programs Every Teacher Should Know
When it comes to providing the proper mental health care in the classroom, every teacher should be informed on these two programs:
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support -- Based on creating positive interactions between students to eliminate bullying and harmful interactions for students. Teachers become a leader in setting the standard for behavior.
- Trauma-Sensitive -- Strategies to reduce the effect of traumatic experiences on students.
This is the first step in teachers preparing themselves for tackling complicated issues, but unfortunately not all teachers know about them.
Teachers Are a One-Stop Shop!
Think back to when you were a youngster. Did you want to tell your parents everything? Probably not! Teachers are often the one person kids feel comfortable talking to, and if they are not educated on how to deal with the mental and emotional health problems kids are exhibiting in their discussions, then children are given a disservice. They are committing suicide. Their issues and challenges are going unnoticed. This is why prevention needs to continue at school by training teachers not only on how to call about abuse, but how to identify mental health disorders in children and how to address them. With some additional training, suicide might even lose its number two spot for deaths of school age children.
With mental health taking financial cuts over the years, passing legislation that places importance back on funding research and prevention in communities is essential. Money needs to be put back into educating teachers on these health disorders. The training must be funded in some way and without grants it can be difficult to provide the proper training. This starts with voting for bills that provide sufficient funding.
Changing Teaching Methods
Teachers need to know what preventative methods they could be implementing to stave off consequences from these disorders children are experiencing. By changing their teaching methods, they could be saving lives. For example, for students showing anxiety, post the classroom itinerary for the day so they know what to expect. Without training on these different methods, teachers are in the dark on what works for kids with mental and emotional struggles.
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