As Millions of Children head back to School, many are facing the reality that the Pandemic is not over — which has School Districts looking at ways to address Students’ Mental Health. Many American kids are heading back to the Classroom for the first time since March 2020. Experts say the COVID-19 Pandemic has raised new challenges for Educators. A new study found that 36% of Parents say their child fell behind in Social and Emotional Development.
John Brownstein, Ph.D. — Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital saying: “We’ve recognized that with this pandemic, we’ve had a new pandemic of mental health issues among our kids and the isolation that they have felt, the virtual learning environments that just do not provide the same level of support to our kids.”
The Fanion Family in Woodbridge, Virginia is gearing up to send 3 kids back to School. Justice and Jenna Fanion told us how their Teacher checked in on Students during Virtual School. Justice saying: “In the morning, we would have like this chart thing and they will ask if we like what different color we are and like red would be like mad and stressed out stuff like that. Green was like like I’m OK, doing good.” Jenna adding: “My last period teacher, he was always like, what did you guys do today? Did anything stress you out?”
Schools across the Nation are looking at ways to address Students’ Mental Health. Iowa is using $20 Million in Federal COVID-19 Relief Funding to launch a new Pre-K to 12 School Mental Health Center. In Montgomery County Maryland, Mental Health will now be accepted for excused absence.
Experts say Teachers should consider starting the year prioritizing social emotional learning skills. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach – Director of Policy and Advocacy at the National Association of School Psychologists saying: “I think it would be a mistake to on day one jump right back in doing academic assessments.”
Doctors say Parents and Teachers should pay attention if a Child is:
- More Withdrawn
- Less Interactive with Peers
- Struggling to Focus or keep up in Class
Experts also emphasize that Kids are resilient and just getting back into the Classroom will make a big difference.