How to Support Student’s Mental Health During Coronavirus
Around the world, children are already back in school or are preparing to return soon. They’re facing many changes and challenges from their regular routine. Classroom settings and protective measures vary greatly from country to country. Here is a snapshot of what classrooms look like around the world:
Outdoor vs. indoor classes
Classrooms in Italy are taking advantage of the warm climate to hold classes outdoors, where chances of infection are lowered.
Installation of protective barriers and new cleaning measures
In Bangkok, children are surrounded by plastic screens and are wearing masks. Schools have also installed sinks outside classrooms for children to wash their hands.
Class size changes (few vs. many)
In New York, large empty spaces like theaters, convention centers and auditoriums are being considered as places where socially distanced learning can be held.
Remote learning vs. in-class learning
In the US, some schools in Florida are set to reopen fully, while some schools in California are offering remote learning. In Mexico, students will be learning at home through their television and radios and their textbooks were mailed to them.
Closure of classes/delay in school start
In Kenya, schools closed in March and according to George Magoha, the country’s education secretary, schools will stay closed and may not open again in January, when the new school year usually starts.
Self-administered coronavirus tests
In Neustrelitz, Germany, children have the option of administering coronavirus tests on themselves. If they test positive, they must quarantine at home for two weeks. If they test negative, they receive a green sticker and the freedom not to wear a mask.
The effect on children’s mental health
These changes to classrooms have increased children’s feelings of isolation and disruption in their lives.
Schools have the opportunity to monitor student’s mental health and the influence these changes to their routine have over them by using digital safety tools like web filtering and monitoring.
onGuard sends real-time alerts when a student engages with content that signals early detection of sexual grooming, suicide attempts, self-harm, radicalization, and other potentially harmful online activity, helping schools be proactive about student safety online.
Netsweeper scans both online and offline content, such as chat messages, emails, and documents, content that was previously unavailable to schools for monitoring.
It is also important to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of children suffering from mental health issues. Children who are facing difficult challenges will often have those difficulties manifest themselves in changes to their mood and behavior.
- Children and Mental Health – The Growing Challenge
- Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Students
- How to Support Your Child’s Mental Health
- Is Social Media Harmful to Student’s Health?
- How to Identify Mental Illness in Youth
If you are a young person in need of support, call Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668 6868. In addition, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine has a collection of online resources including support groups, peer networks, helplines and more. There is also the Teen Safety Resource Guide from Safety.com that contains information on over 25 resources for teens on topics such as mental health, cyberbullying, smartphone and device concerns, social distance activities, and more.