So much of my conversation with Amy Looper in today’s podcast circulates around mental health. For schools, the statistics are beyond shocking and the consequences of our collective inability to address the needs of children as they navigate their emotions demand greater attention.
The American School Counselors Association recommends a student to counselor ratio of 250:1 (which hardly sounds adequate), but in the 2015-2016 academic year only Vermont and New Hampshire were able to meet that recommendation. A report prepared by EAB found that between 2010-2018 there was an 80% increase in the percentage of U.S. adolescents reporting a major depressive episode per year; that, on average, 3,069 high school students attempt suicide each day. At the same time, the same report found that overwhelmingly children rely on school-provided services for their mental health needs.
Students experiencing mental health challenges in the classroom distract teachers from educating, and overburdened and under-trained staff have little recourse but to provide discipline where counseling is needed. Kids who don’t receive the right help at the right time can turn to drugs, violence, or just drop out of school altogether.
Imagine the lifelong impact on those students. Imagine the impact on their families.
If you’re a school educator, consider bringing reThinkIt! Into your school. If you’re a parent, consider asking for it to be offered.
If you are an HR professional, consider offering reThinkIt! to employees kids through your benefits program. “Designed to improve the mental health and well-being of employees’ kids, reThinkIt! helps reduce employee absenteeism and presenteeism. Employee-parents understand more about the issues challenging their kids and, in turn, experience reduced stress and anxiety at home and work with more productive work days.”