The Importance of Teaching Mental Health in Schools
People who advocate for mental health in schools have a firm belief that the general well being of children can be considerably improved by focusing on important topics in this area. They feel that the attention should be aimed at the remodeling of the education support programs and services that are managed by schools. While doing this, the school management has to involve families of children and to link the resources of schools and their neighborhood. Teaching mental health in schools is important because a large number of children are suffering as their behavioral and developmental needs are not being looked after by the very schools that were created to take care of them.
A survey done in 1990 has indicated that mental illness among children cost the United States about seventy five billion dollars. The survey was done by the National Advisory Mental Health Council. The roots of negative feelings and thoughts range from the educational system deficits to their vulnerabilities. This is what accounts for a large number of adolescents who suffer with mental health and development problems. Teaching mental health in schools becomes important as information on mental disorders over the last half of the previous century suggests that almost twenty five per cent of youngsters in schools are in need of services for mental or behavioral problems. These studies have given a warning that the current mental health systems are inadequate and that the situation is likely to worsen if teaching mental health in schools is neglected.
Mental health in schools has to be addressed if the schools have to operate satisfactorily and the children are to learn effectively. Some segments of the country’s administration feel that schools are not a proper venue for mental health education. They make the mistake of associating mental health with mental illness. Another school of thought is that by introducing the mental health in schools, the focus may shift from the educational subjects to matters of family rights and values. Maybe it should be agreed that schools are not in the mental health business and education is their principal mission. Perhaps schools are not responsible for meeting every need of their students. But, when this need affects the learning, the school has to take it up as a challenge. Psychological health problems affect learning in many ways. Violence is a big Damocles’ sword hanging over all schools. Guns and killings are attracting media attention. The situation is making the youngsters nervous in school. The rate of suicide among youngsters is also becoming a major concern. High priority, then, has to be placed on addressing mental health in schools.
Important guidelines for mental health in schools will involve the establishment in making sure that there is healthy and cognitive emotional development in addition to academic success. Subjects could be introduced in school that will teach about general wellness and promote integrity and responsibility. Children have to be taught mental health in schools through social and working relationships with importance being given to self-evaluation and self-direction. Complete social and emotional support has to be provided by the school management to students and the staff. Mental health in schools will have to reach the classroom through general instructional process supported by special assistance strategies.