Through no real fault of their own, schools and districts around the nation usually struggle to meet students’ mental and behavioral health needs. The demand for services outstrips their capacity, meaning administrators, counselors, and educators are often left to cobble together solutions while facing time and resource constraints. So, while education leaders make the most of the options available to them, it’s often difficult to help every student needing support.
As a former teacher, building administrator, and assistant superintendent, I experienced these frustrations firsthand. They kept me up at night. How do we make sure we have supports in place for each one of our students? How do we expand support for students outside of the school walls? How do we create a supportive environment—in and out of the classroom—to ensure all our students succeed?
With students returning once again this fall for full-time, in-person learning, there are going to be challenges that arise, especially mental and behavioral health needs tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below, I’ve highlighted three strategies to address students’ mental and behavioral health challenges this fall.
1. Scale-up internal capabilities
As we emerge from the pandemic and transition back to in-person learning, there’s going to be an adjustment phase. After all, students and educators (as well as the rest of us) are used to jumping on Zoom and interacting with others in a virtual environment for the past 12+ months.
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