Schools play an essential role in the psychological, social, and academic development of children. Research suggests that schools are uniquely placed to address immediate stress and anxiety caused by uncertainty and disconnection caused by the impacts of Covid-19. A lack of adequate support for children’s mental health can lead to attention difficulties, behavioral concerns, and lower academic achievement. School counselors through my international networks unanimously report adapting their practices to meet the needs of their students during COVID-19 and it is more important than ever to focus on students’ mental health.
Research suggests that students need emotional support during online activities. Families would know too well the need for encouragement, motivation and creating an environment of balance while their children are online. Early identification and interventions for mental health concerns can lead to higher academic and social success, as well as less psychological distress. If you are concerned for your child and their coping skills, please reach out and discuss with Ken, MSB school counselor.
Concurrently, it is important to be mindful of how the pandemic has affected the mental health of educators, who have reported navigating their own emotional exhaustion while attending to student needs. The workload stress at this time of the academic year is real and MSB teachers have put students first, second and third as they strive to make the learning environment as rich and inclusive as possible across the online platform. Considering the imperative role that schools play in supporting students socially and emotionally, disrupted access to school-based providers has likely exacerbated the mental health impacts of the pandemic. Keep an eye out for any emotional and developmental regression in your child. Research tells us it is a “bump in the road”, and they will rebound with support, love, and understanding from their immediate and extended families and caring and compassionate school adults. We truly are all living in unprecedented times or as research is calling it the “new normal”.
Fingers crossed we can get back to face-to-face learning before the end of the academic year and reconnect.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact School Counselor at firstname.lastname@example.org