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

CASEL Releases Updated Guide for High-Quality Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs

48 Programs Receive Highest Designation

CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) published an updated edition of its most frequently accessed resource, The CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs, commonly known as the CASEL Program Guide (https://pg.casel.org). As the leading authority on evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL), CASEL is uniquely positioned to review and rate programs with potential to promote desired competence development among children and youth, preschool through high school. With the rising popularity of SEL and the growing number of program options, this Consumer Reports-style guide will help district and school leaders select effective programs that support their students’ social, emotional, and academic well-being. 

Programs are reviewed against evaluation, design, and implementation criteria to help ensure the consistency and quality of program delivery. Programs in the CASEL Program Guide are designated as either SELect, Promising, or SEL-Supportive. …Read More

Making mental health checks during remote learning

According to a 2019 survey from the Centers for Disease Control, approximately one in five youths reported they’d seriously considered attempting suicide within the last year, while one in six had actually made a suicide plan, and one in 11 had made an attempt. Since the pandemic began, things have only gotten worse. In 2020 Mental Health America reported an uptick in severe major depression and suicidal ideation among youth. It noted in September 2020 that more than half of 11- to 17-year-olds reported they had experienced frequent thoughts of suicide or self-harm in the last two weeks. Other statistics are equally alarming.

Simply put, this pandemic has pushed stress levels of many youth to the breaking point. There are many contributing factors, such as isolation from peers, concern about loved ones getting sick, family financial issues such as job losses, and stress from navigating distance learning.

Then there are the situations in which child abuse and exploitation occur. During the early months of the pandemic, for example, child abuse complaints dropped, sometimes by as much as 50 percent. That’s not because abuse and exploitation issues were down. Just the opposite–the abuse was unreported because it wasn’t being seen by those who would typically catch it.…Read More

A Better Way Forward for Education – ‘Year in Review’ for SEL

From the pandemic to school closures to nationwide mobilization for racial justice, our nation’s headlines serve as an urgent call for social and emotional learning (SEL). CASEL has released 2020: SEL Year in Review, which reflects on the past year and shows that with SEL there is a better way forward for our communities, schools, and students. The top stories of 2020 remind us that the systems in which we learn, work, and live must promote healthy development.

 

“We can find common cause and unity in prioritizing our youth and the systems in which they are educated,” said CASEL President & CEO Karen Niemi. “SEL can serve as the antidote to much of what ails our nation.”…Read More