3 strategies to support youth mental health

Every year more than 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States–that breaks down to 7,000 students every day. Leaving high school has major implications for the rest of a student’s life, including considerably higher rates of unemployment, poverty, depression, chronic physical and mental illness, incarceration, and even a shorter life span

Among the students who do not complete high school, over 20 percent did so because of early onset psychiatric disorders, with mood disorders being the most common.

This is extremely concerning, as the U.S. has recently experienced significant increases in struggles with youth mental health. In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, along with the Surgeon General issuing a national advisory in the wake of alarming increases in the prevalence of mental health challenges.…Read More

Future Astronomers releases new phase of Astronomy education for youth

Brooklyn, New York (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Future Astronomers, creator of the Future Astronomers astronomy educational platform, announced today that they are launching the second phase of free programs for Autumn 2022. 

Future Astronomers is expanding its offering, and the details are as follows: 

  • Initiating Series Two of the popular Future Astronomers Zoom classes forming their Youtube series, which will cover further exploration of astrophysics fundamentals, and how they apply to galaxies and stars.
  • Launching of ‘Materials for Learning’ program, where kids will have access to telescopes to actively engage and investigate celestial skies above.  Fundraising initiatives will soon commence to support this endeavour.
  • Expanding ‘Sidewalk Astronomy’ initiative, a flexible program which encourages other astronomers to share their knowledge and capabilities with local youth, providing further outreach for astronomy education.

According to Lucas Zimmermann, “It is with great excitement that we announce the next phase of astronomy education programs.  We are covering interesting new celestial topics in the zoom classes, which I believe helps with setting a strong foundation for astronomy knowledge.  I’m also excited to launch ‘Materials for Learning’, which I believe will be useful in providing targeted material support in key communities. And lastly, expanding ‘Sidewalk Stars’ really helps to bring the wonders of the universe closer to neighbourhoods and empowers others to contribute to interested youth.”…Read More

How analytics can identify student mental health challenges

As we get closer to the upcoming school year, it’s important to think about how to address student mental health. The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has had an especially significant impact on our youth, who were already experiencing record high levels of poor mental health: The CDC reports that “More than one in three high school students had experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, a 40 percent increase since 2009.”

After having their lives upended by COVID-19, students are finally getting back into the routine of things, but their mental health should still be a major concern, as poor mental health can lead to trouble performing well in school, social isolation, and even self-harm or death.

In 2019, the CDC also reported that one in six youths had made a suicide plan within the last year, showing just how important it is to address this problem.…Read More

How to address mental health needs in youth sports

Numerous studies have shown the lifelong importance of exercise and playing sports for young children.  Physically active children are often happier children. Children involved in team sports develop lifelong friendships and develop a work ethic that stays with them through adulthood. But sometimes, the pressures of performing can have negative impacts on children.

Challenges arise when sports become a source of anxiety for children. Ideally, sports provide a fun activity for children to move their bodies and release some stress. They also offer a safe space for children where they are supported by coaches who are trusted adults they can lean on for advice and guidance if they are experiencing mental health issues.

In the past few years, we’ve seen a few examples of youth who have reached out to coaches when they struggled with mental health issues. And, unfortunately, we’ve seen tragic examples of youth who were unable to access the support they needed.…Read More

3 ways schools can support youth mental health

The collective damage caused by the pandemic has yet to be fully understood, but the toll it has taken on youth mental health and emotional well-being is becoming exceedingly apparent. Widespread social isolation and loneliness, uncertainty, parental loss of a job, the widening digital divide, feelings of anxiety over becoming ill, and loss of a loved one have all contributed to the current mental health crisis.

In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, and the U.S. Surgeon General released a public health advisory stating that young people’s rates of experiencing symptoms of depression more than doubled during the pandemic.

While student mental health is the top safety concern of K-12 employees for the 2022-2023 school year, a recent survey on teen mental health and well-being reported that teens are particularly concerned that their schools aren’t doing enough to support them and their emotional needs–only a few surveyed have the highest confidence in their schools’ efforts to create an atmosphere of physical (17.2 percent) and emotional (12.5 percent) safety.…Read More

5 ways to teach students about Veterans Day

The history of Veterans Day is one of the most important we can share with our youth.  Learning about how our nation was shaped, the various perspectives that make our country whole, and the sacrifices made for our freedoms is important.

Sometimes as an educator, though, it can be hard to know how to bring up the importance of duty. We’re happy to share with you a new virtual field trip exploring the importance of service.  This unique virtual field trip called Voices of U.S. – Why We Serve is the first installment in a series that introduces students to the principles, people and perspectives that shape our nation, and inspire service.   

There are so many lessons around civic duty and service that are relevant in our classrooms today and digital resources, like the virtual field trip, can help bring these lessons to life. Five ways that teachers in grades K-8 can teach about the power of service include: …Read More

4 ways to create safe mental health environments for our students

The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt our nation’s youth a difficult hand. After adapting to virtual learning over the past year and a half, many students this school year prepared to return to in-person education, despite concerns about their emotional well-being and the evolving pandemic situations.

According to recent research, nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. teens are concerned about experiencing social anxiety as they transition back to “normal” life. Additionally, 47 percent express concern about falling behind in school this year, and 43 percent report that they are concerned about mental health challenges as a result of the pandemic.

As teens grapple with these uncertainties in school and beyond, educators are taking note and are anticipating that mental health issues will have a major impact on student progress this year. In fact, 41 percent of surveyed U.S. high school educators anticipate that both student anxiety about returning to in-person learning and students with pre-existing emotional or behavioral challenges experiencing exacerbated conditions will have “a lot” or “tremendous impact” on the quality of learning.…Read More

Novus Consulting Group Introduces New Approach to Cyber Citizenship Education with Course Focused on Digital Wellness

DALLAS, TX (August 10, 2021) – As cyberattack incidents continue to appear globally, largely attributed to the pandemic’s push for digitization, millions of people are recognizing the importance of strong education programs and cybersecurity fluency. In response to these emerging needs, Novus Consulting Group (NCG), an organization dedicated to empowering the global youth, is launching its Cyber Citizenship course this summer. 

The course was developed by experts in the cybersecurity industry and in partnership with CareerNet, an employment, training, and education solutions company. It prepares high school and first-year college students with proper cyber etiquette skills by informing them on ways to protect personal identity, school data, home devices, and all networks. With these tools, students will be ready to take on the next step in their personal, academic, and professional life. 

“Children and youth are often considered to be a soft target, mainly due to the fact that they
have not yet been trained on basic cybersecurity subjects and ways to protect themselves
and their devices, making them an easy gateway into more valuable home and school
devices and networks,” said Dr. Hanine Salem, managing partner at Novus Consulting
Group. “We developed this Course to enable young people to protect themselves,
understand appropriate internet usage, and explore cybersecurity as a professional path.”…Read More

Creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students through telehealth

Equitable access to physical and mental healthcare should be a human right. This access is especially critical for LGBTQ+ students.

At least one LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13–24 attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the U.S., according to a recent estimate from The Trevor Project.

“Understanding the number of LGBTQ youth who seriously consider and attempt suicide, as well as how often suicide risk occurs, improves our ability to serve and advocate for LGBTQ youth.”–The Trevor Project, 2021…Read More

How to build diversity, equity, and inclusion with scholastic esports

The inclusion of scholastic esports in academic programs is yielding strong and widespread results in the youth of today. Research demonstrates that strong communities are developing, with deep engagement from students who are involved in scholastic esports, particularly students that normally don’t become involved with school activities. Because of that draw, scholastic esports is in a pivotal position to help build diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at schools all around the country.

Organizations play an important role in fostering DEI among students. NASEF’s core values include diversity and respect, and its club members must adhere to the Code of Conduct to participate in tournaments and challenges. Likewise, HSEL competitors agree to abide by behavior standards in community events. 

From the beginning of NASEF’s curriculum in southern California to the 10 magnet schools in Miami-Dade Florida that piloted the curriculum with their students, we have seen a marked improvement among students with respect to DEI. NASEF is now seeing students all across the country and even the world are joining esports clubs and opening up new avenues for themselves.…Read More