In the past decade, pandemic planning in schools has been a relatively new practice. The pandemic plans that schools have been developing are not necessarily optimal for the realities of pandemics. The plans are too theoretical and not reflective of the realities that schools will face. The paper discusses the harmful impact the lack of reflection on the realities of pandemics has had on school planning. Additionally, the paper discusses some strategies schools can use to adapt their plans to more effectively help students who are experiencing mental health issues during a pandemic.
The past decade has been a difficult one for schools. While the public school system in the United States has undergone numerous changes, most of those changes have been in the ways we educate our students. The number of students diagnosed with emotional, behavioral, and learning disorders has increased significantly, and many schools have begun to adapt.
Schools often fail to prepare children for the pressures of the next generation of work, leading to mental health issues and other issues that can really harm students in the long term.
As schools are increasingly taking on the task of supporting their students’ mental health, administrators are looking for ways to mitigate the risks posed by the changing climate. This article outlines how schools can take advantage of the existing climate movement to help them adapt to the everyday challenges of supporting their students’ mental health.
Schools are facing a growing mental health crisis. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 26% of students experience a mental health issue every year, and this number is growing. In addition, school-related suicide rates have increased by 41% from 1999 to 2014. This increase in student mental illness is particularly worrisome in the wake of high-profile mass shootings in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and teachers were killed.
The year has not been kind to the student population. Anxiety, depression, and personal struggles are at an all-time high. However, it’s important to note that not everyone is affected by these issues. Some students are able to keep their heads above water well enough to make it through the week. For others, they don’t fare as well.
Part of the reason for this is that our society has struggled to find ways to help those struggling effectively. Schools may have an idea of what to do, but they don’t always know how to get there.
As the number of students with mental health difficulties has increased, schools have been forced to adapt their practices to help students cope with school and social life pressures. Though schools play many roles in supporting students’ mental health, and those roles have expanded considerably in the last decade, schools still often fail to meet the needs of students with mental health difficulties. In order to better meet the mental health needs of students in schools, it is important to understand the ways in which schools can adapt pandemic protocol practices to support students’ mental health.
When a person is suffering from a mental health issue, they are at the greatest risk of hurting themselves or others. Suicide is the second leading cause of death after heart disease in young adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. When dealing with mental health issues, students are often young, and their symptoms can make them seem like a burden to their parents or school administrators. Schools can work to support students’ mental health in several ways, including providing a crisis response team or a peer support specialist.
When a pandemic strikes, schools should be ready to help keep students safe and healthy. This can be done by implementing Pandemic Protocols, which are policies and procedures that promote safety and health during an epidemic. Schools should begin by protecting students from contact with those in a high-risk category and preparing them for the possibility of an outbreak. Pandemic protocols also include planning for the spread of infection, educating the community about the disease, planning for family and household members, and providing support for those who become ill.