It’s said that in every classroom, 1 in 10 students have to deal with a diagnosable mental health condition. Recently, people all around the world have become more aware of the severity of mental health issues and since then, the responsibility of a teacher has changed both practically and mentally. Teachers have always had to do a lot more than just teach their students. As well as a full working day, they work overtime that often drags into the night, where they are expected to monitor, mark and catch up on admin. On a daily basis, teachers are responsible for inspiring, caring and supporting their students. They have a massive influence on younger people they teach, much more than many of us realize, and this can be very daunting for many teachers who don’t fully understand how to provide this level of provision. For this reason alone, the following looks at why teachers should receive mental health training.
As we learn more about mental health awareness, we need to make sure we actually understand it. Mental health is a sensitive subject that many of us struggle to diagnose and talk about. This could be due to a lack of understanding or it can be a personal issue, such as being too ashamed or embarrassed to confront the issue. Mental health conditions can affect any of us, no matter how old we are, and many young people are dealing with the issue daily. A teacher spends a lot of time with their students and over time, they will get to know them very well. Now students know more about mental health, they will be more open about talking about it. If a teacher has received mental health training, they will know the correct way to talk to their students about mental health and they will be able to talk to them and provide them the care and help they need.
When a teacher understands and talks about mental health, they can pass on their knowledge and concerns of their students. If a teacher talks to and teaches their students about mental health, their students will become more aware and more open about talking about these conditions. This could be with a friend, family member, parent or teacher. This is great because talking about the issue before it worsens is the best way to make things better. Teaching students about it can also help them to diagnose someone else. If they feel like they can approach their teacher with concerns about a friend or a loved one, it has the potential to save a life. Everyone sees the people they know in their own way, but not everyone can provide the same level of care.
Mental health can be a silent killer and many of us still don’t fully understand how severe this condition can be. With the right knowledge and understanding, a teacher trained in mental health awareness could reduce the severity of a student’s condition, which has the potential to save a life. Suicide is not uncommon, and the rates of suicide have actually increased among young people in recent years. This alone should be enough to convince any educator to look into a course in mental health awareness. Being able to provide the right support at the right time can really do the world of good.
It has been discussed that mental health awareness training should be mandatory for all new teachers. Until this comes into effect, there are plenty of qualifications to consider if you are a teacher that wants to know more about how to support young people who suffer from poor mental health. There are degrees you can study, either in an educational facility or online, such as a mental health counseling masters. Check out this mental health counseling masters with St Bonaventure University online. This way, you can continue to work and teach while you study, and you can use the things you learn in this program in the classroom. When you adapt yourself and apply the things you learn in a class of young people you already know, you can see firsthand what effects this training has on the students.
School plays a massive part in our development and it makes us into the people we are today. As mental health problems are becoming more prevalent in today’s young people, it is clear that more should be done to provide the mental health support the future generation needs and training teachers in this field is a fantastic place to start.