Search

PBS: Teachers need to address mental health issues in students; who better?

Mar 6, 2018, PBS: Opinion: To prevent school shootings, can mental health be taught?

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/opinion-to-prevent-school-shootings-can-mental-health-be-taught … Yet time after time, we watch mass shootings lead to a call for government action, and time after time the government does nothing. This time, high school students who’d just survived a shooting at their own school boarded buses to Tallahassee and watched as their state legislature refused to reconsider a ban on assault rifles like the one that killed their friends a week before. If we have taken anything away from Parkland, it’s that we no longer have the luxury of delegating the care of our most marginalized students. Mental health care access also matters. Governments should fund more robust school counseling programs so that students get care long before their feelings of despair and isolation metastasize into violence. But meeting that need will involve cumbersome debates, rebudgeting and hiring. All of that takes time. Meanwhile, our efforts to address mental health in school have limitations. Researchers who study the impact of mental illness stigma have found that students identified as needing mental health services sometimes find that their friends then avoid them, their family members pity and distrust them, and their teachers fear them and underestimate their abilities…. No other profession is better placed to gain the trust of a student in crisis, or a student who might come forward about a struggling peer. Who is better placed than a teacher to organize a student’s environment and be a source of consistent support? …