Importance of Nurturing Student Mental Health

Debashish Biswas

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Nurturing Student Mental Health

The wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden changes in the as-usual activity of our daily lives have impacted school students and job holders. This sudden changing behaviour has primarily affected the mental health of the students and has catapulted them into the spotlight. The transition to online learning and the growing online penetration are now affecting students’ ability to enter the playground. Additionally, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have made the situation more complex by showing they can both offer support and increase the risk of worsening mental health issues among students.

Most students who are nearly 10-25 years old mostly indulge in social media, mobile gaming, etc., which diverts them from their education. As a career guide, I have seen most of the students struggling with mental health challenges. It’s also essential to focus on mental health in schools. So, looking closely at why student mental health is important and how teachers can help create a caring atmosphere is essential.

What is the Impact of Social Media on Student Mental Health

The influence of social media on student’s mental health has been a subject of matter. Most students have mostly indulged themselves in social media rather than concentrating on their studies or not doing any fruitful work and are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety. A survey conducted by MIT Sloan, Bocconi University, and Tel Aviv University found that there is a significant negative impact on college students, and it also says that there is an increase in anxiety and depression among them. The study also noted that Facebook has increased severe depression by 7% and anxiety disorder by 20%. Additionally, if students are more indulged in social media, it can hamper sleep patterns, which is a critical factor in maintaining mental health. Cyberbullying is another significant concern; with social media, most of you are harassed, and it, in some cases, goes to the extreme level where students may take negative steps in their lives.

Importance of Nurturing Student Mental Health

Why Mental Health is Important for Students?

Mental health is the cornerstone of students’ academic success, personal development, and overall well-being. It influences their ability to learn, engage, and perform in school or college. Students grappling with mental health issues may experience decreased concentration, motivation, and self-esteem, leading to poor academic outcomes. It mainly deals with our emotions, psychology, and social well-being, affecting how we think, feel, act, etc. Mental health combines how you handle stress and depression and many more.

Mental Health and Well-being of School Students

Building the overall development of the students and improving their quality of life, as well as the mental health and well-being of school students, are critical factors. It is a way of creating a new spirit of life lesson for the students. Recognizing and addressing mental health needs can help students overcome their barriers, achieve their full potential, and navigate the challenges of student life with resilience. For students who are in a critical stage of personal, social, and intellectual development, maintaining good mental health is essential for several reasons:

1. Academic Performance:

Academic performance is directly correlated to the student’s mental health. It combines students’ theoretical functions, such as attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Students who are struggling with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, may be unable to concentrate, learn effectively, and perform academically in their studies. Good mental health builds society as a brotherhood behaviour, and due to it, students excel more in their academic performance, which indicates that they are more motivated, engaged, and able to focus on their studies.

2. Quality of Life:

As human beings, we know how mental health influences our overall quality of life. So, everyone needs to maintain mental health and build a good environment that improves their overall quality of life. When students enjoy good mental health, they express their higher self-esteem, better self-awareness, and a more positive outlook. It will help them face any challenges and give them a joyful moment to balance their life, both inside and outside the academic environment.

3. Social Relationships:

Suppose a student is affected by some mental health issue in their life. In that case, it may reduce the ability to perform any task properly, and they may not be able to maintain healthy relationships. Students with a positive mentality are likelier to engage in social activities, form meaningful connections with their friends, and develop supportive social networks. These relationships are crucial for emotional support and can significantly enhance their college experience and future life.

4. Reduced Risk of Substance Abuse:

Students who are experiencing mental health challenges are at high risk of engaging in different bad habits. By addressing mental health issues as early as possible and promoting mental wellness, schools can help students reduce bad habits like drugs or alcohol, thereby preventing the long-term negative consequences associated with substance abuse.

5. Increased Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem:

Mental health awareness helps students understand their emotions, strengths, and weaknesses, leading to increased self-awareness and self-esteem. This self-knowledge is vital for personal development and can empower students to make informed decisions about their lives and futures.

6. Student Safety:

Addressing mental health can increase student safety by reducing the incidence of self-harm and suicide incidence among students. By creating a supportive and understanding environment, schools can encourage students to seek help when needed, preventing them from taking the wrong steps.

7. Improved Overall Health:

Mental health is closely linked to physical health. Students with good mental health are likelier to engage in healthy behaviours, such as regular exercise, cricket, football, etc., and balanced nutrition, contributing to better physical health and well-being.

How Schools Can Support Students’ Mental Health

Schools can play a crucial role in supporting students’ mental health by implementing comprehensive mental health programs if the school or college authority has built a collaboration with mental health professionals and organizations that can help most of the students. Below, I am sharing some key strategies for schools to support student mental health education.

1. Implementing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs:

SEL programs teach students innovative skills related to emotional regulation, empathy, relationship building, responsibility, and decision-making, contributing to improved mental health and academic success. So, it is a pack of cartoons needed and learned by every student in their academic year.

2. Providing Access to School-Based Mental Health Services:

The school authorities must employ mental health professionals, such as school psychologists and counsellors, who are crucial in delivering suitable student lessons. Nowadays, it is essential in every school. With the demand of high study pressure due to the increasing competition, most of the students are facing mental health issues. And the most alarming is unemployment. After completing their higher studies, most students still need a proper job. And it’s primarily due to the advancement of technology. So, the young generation needs to update themselves according to the market demand.

3. Creating a Positive School Climate:

A supportive and inclusive school environment means arranging yearly 2-3 times extracurricular activities and playing grounds for students, which can enhance students’ sense of belonging and reduce the risk of mental health problems. Doing so fosters respectful relationships among students and staff, promotes diversity and inclusion, and addresses bullying and discrimination.

4. Engaging Families and Communities:

Collaboration with families and community organizations can enhance the effectiveness of school-based mental health initiatives. This includes providing resources and support for parents and partnering with local mental health agencies to offer comprehensive services.

How Educators Can Promote Mental Health Awareness

1. Integrate Mental Health Education:

As a teacher, you must teach students how to manage stress, self-care, and mindfulness as part of their regular coursework. This can help them develop essential mental development and improve their emotional well-being.

2. Encourage Open Communication:

Teachers need to build a good environment where students can share their emotions and experiences, which are very important for promoting mental health awareness. Suppose they profoundly encourage the students and explain life’s positive and negative points. In that case, it helps students feel more comfortable discussing their mental health concerns and seeking support when needed.

3. Provide Resources and Support:

Suppose college and school authorities provide resources and support services like counselling and therapy. In that case, it may help students, and when students interact with the profession, they share their thoughts and mental feelings. So, educators need to be aware of the available resources and prepare students by referring students to appropriate support and services when necessary.

Sharing Is Caring:

Hi, this is Debashish Biswas. I am a professional BTech Civil Engineer, but since 2020, I have been doing blogging, content writing, website development, SEO work, etc., as a full-time career choice. As I primarily work with computers, I have built my knowledge into it, such as coding, SEO Work, and other computer-related work. I recently joined one of the Schools as a Computer Vocational Teacher. My hobbies are reading books, magazines, and more. I am here to share my valuable knowledge in the education field. If you love my article, share it with your friends. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Thank You to all readers.

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Importance of Nurturing Student Mental Health