Mental health is no longer a taboo. Around the globe, more people are recognizing its significance and actively seeking ways to tackle it head-on. Today, there are an increasing number of events, campaigns, and initiatives encouraging individuals to speak openly about mental health. And for good reason! Mental health impacts our ability to function on a daily basis, as well as our long-term quality of life. It’s important that we continue to challenge pre-existing stigmas in order to create a safer environment for those struggling with mental health issues. With schools opening up, it’s never too early to start planning how you can make mental health awareness a priority at your school this coming year. Whether you work directly with students or plan special events in your spare time, there are plenty of small changes you can make that will have a big impact on mental wellbeing at your school. Here are 5 ways you can make mental health awareness a priority at school:
● Establish a culture of speaking out about Mental Health:
When students can feel comfortable speaking to teachers and staff about their mental wellbeing, it helps to break down the idea that mental health is a taboo. This is particularly important in high school and colleges where younger students may feel they don’t have the option to speak up. One way to start building this culture of openness is to discuss mental health during staff meetings. Talk about the ways it can impact people’s daily lives and the resources available to help individuals struggling with mental health. This is also a good way to bring mental health awareness into the classroom. Teachers and professors are some of the most influential people in a student’s life. When they make a point to speak out about mental health, it sends a strong message that it’s a topic worth talking about. Establishing a culture of openness and acceptance around mental health is key to opening up a conversation about the topic.
● Hold Events that focuses on Mental Health Awareness
Throughout the school year, you’re likely to experience many special events and moments that are aimed at raising awareness for various causes. If you work at a university or college, there’s a good chance you’ve seen mental health awareness initiatives make their way around campus. This is one way that students can make a change on a local level. However, what if you could have an even bigger impact? One way you can do this is by hosting a mental health event. There are a number of different approaches you could take. You could choose to host an informational panel that talks about the mental health issues students may face during their academic careers. You could also choose to host a mental health awareness fashion show that is open to the public. Whether you choose one event or multiple, you’ll be able to reach a larger audience than if you were to focus on mental health awareness during a single event.
● Create a Resource Library for students
Whether you’re a teacher, a member of the administrative team, or a member of the student union, you have access to information that could make a real difference to the mental health of your peers. You can use this access to create a resource library for students. This can include information about mental health and the services available to help individuals struggling with mental health issues. The more visible a resource library is, the more impact it will have on the lives of students. You can choose to create a library in a number of ways, including placing pamphlets in common areas around campus, having a digital library on your school’s website, or creating a wall display in your office or classroom. The more accessible a resource library is, the more impact it will have on the lives of students.
● Offer Peer-to-Peer counseling groups
One of the best ways to help students manage mental health issues is to provide them with access to professional mental health care. However, this isn’t a solution that’s accessible to everyone, which is where peer-to-peer counseling groups can make a real difference. When you host a peer-to-peer counseling group on your campus, you give students the opportunity to provide one another with mental health support. Such groups are especially helpful during times of high stress, such as during exam periods and dealing with exam pressure. Students can actively support each other and provide a sense of relief for those experiencing mental health issues. This is also a good way to get students actively involved in addressing mental health issues on campus. It gives them a sense of purpose and takes mental health awareness to a whole new level.
● Hold conferences and discussions about Mental Health Careers
In addition to holding events and hosting programs that focus on mental health awareness, you can also hold conferences and discussions about mental health careers. Such events are ideal for helping students learn about the different mental health careers available to them after graduation. They can also provide insight into what the day-to-day life of a mental health care provider looks like. By hosting events that focus on mental health careers, you can provide students with a clearer picture of what the future may look like for them. This can provide comfort to students who are unsure about the path they want to take after graduation. It can also help students who know what they want to do but are unsure of whether or not they have the skills needed to pursue the career of their choice. The mental health of students and young people is critical, as it can have a significant impact on how they function at school, as well as later in life. When we speak out about mental health, we create a culture of openness, which allows individuals to seek help more easily. By hosting mental health events and programs, you can make a real difference. From providing information about mental health careers to providing resources that help manage mental health symptoms, there are many ways you can make mental health a priority on your campus. Positivminds is focused on enhancing mental and emotional well-being by using data science & Artificial Intelligence to proactively maintain and manage individual holistic lifestyle in all phases of life.