Teachers can create emotionally safe spaces in their classrooms while also recognizing when students need mental health help from outside sources.
Educators play a critical role in the emotional well-being of their students and are often the first point of contact for students experiencing mental health issues. Many educators feel unprepared to deal with these mental health challenges due to a lack of proper training and tools. Teachers aren’t always able to identify students who may be at risk, and when they do, it is often unclear just how to help.
Ideally, the work of identifying and supporting students with a range of social and emotional needs, including mental health concerns, would not fall on educators, whose primary role is to educate children. Often, however, teachers are the first to notice when their students have mental health needs, because academics often suffer when students are struggling emotionally.