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Why Mental Health Education in Schools is So Important?

Apr 12, 2020
Sandra Larson
Core Spirit member since Mar 16, 2020
Reading time 4 min.

It is common knowledge that school education is an essential part of the path towards a successful carrier. Any type of professional growth starts at school and continues throughout upcoming years to hopefully one day ensure a successful admission to a desired college or university. Education is a must in the modern world where knowledge has basically become a new currency. However, we often concentrate our attention on the quality of teaching, specifics of the subjects being taught and the amount of information passed to students. On very rare occasions we pay attention to the importance of so-called extracurricular actives, such as mental health education. In this article, we will look at the benefits of mental health-focused programs at our schools and why it is so essential to teach kids not only about math and history but also about the nature of their emotional reactions.

While our education system and authorities are quite concerned about the quality of the knowledge school students get, the aspect of their personal mental and emotional state is often overlooked. But if you take a closer look at the issue, you can see that a lot of children’s future success stories and achievements are based on the flexibility of their mind, the ability to adapt to and overcome stress, and to carefully determine their psychological state. You can read more here, however, it is quite clear that even big companies and HR specialists pay a lot of attention not only to the traditional level of IQ of the applicant but also to his or her level of emotional intelligence. To adequately meet this demand and improve personal qualities of the future professionals’ school system must adapt and include into their education mental health programs. Here is why it is important to do so:

- Research shows that approximately 1 in 5 people deal with some sort of mental health disorder. Considering the lack of awareness and proper education on the topic, most people do not turn for professional help until their adulthood, or even worse – until it is already too late. Considering this, it is crucial to implement appropriate measures to help children (and adults) distinguish the problem early and have a clear understanding of the algorithm of actions during an emotional crisis.

Not only future academic success but also a future success per se is highly dependent upon our mental health. According to the statistics, almost 60 percent of school attendees with mental health disorders do not graduate. No calculus will help if a student’s psychological state is out of control. It is important to teach kids to seek help, to take care of themselves and to express their emotions, fears, and anxiety acceptably and effectively, in the way that will benefit them, not harm the fragile child’s psyche.

- Knowledge is power. Kids at schools are taught all kinds of things, including facts about their health and physical wellness. Teachers provide information about nutrition and the benefits of physical activity. Why there is no information on the mental health hygiene? It is hard to answer this question in a few words. We know painfully little about the inner workings of our brains and psychology is a quite young scientific discipline. However, at this point, we already know that our whole well-being depends on our mental state. So it is important to give practical knowledge to students on the ways to keep or psyche happy and satisfied.

- We live in a high-paced world with ever-increasing pressures and lots of sources for anxiety. With the rise of the Internet and technologies in recent years, our society has drastically changed. The hectic social media environment and highly competitive society have put new pressures on the young generation. It is important to help children adjust to these changes by teaching them about emotional intelligence.

These are just some of the reasons why our schools should definitely have some kind of mental health educational programs. There has been a notion that a school is a place of knowledge, but it is also a place where children grow as people and become young adults. If the goal is to help them launch into a vast, unpredictable and complex adult life, there certainly must be a place for mental health awareness at all levels of school education.

Sandra Larson
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