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    Bloomz Blog


    6 Ways Schools Can Address the Mental Health Crisis

    by Ellen Ullman, on May 8, 2024 1:52:14 PM

    This post is in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

    In 2022, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that 12- to 18-year-olds should be screened for depression and that 8- to 18-year-olds should be screened for anxiety. That same year, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended suicide screening for all kids aged 12 and above. The mental health crisis among children and teens is reaching alarming levels, with many doctors saying that the pandemic accelerated an already bad problem.

    PBIS—a three-tiered prevention system that addresses students’ behavioral, academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs—helps schools improve social-emotional skills, academic success, teacher health and wellbeing, and overall school climate. Tier 1 supports all students with clear behavioral expectations and a rewards system for desired behaviors. Tier 2, for students who do not respond to Tier 1 efforts, features targeted help through small group or classroom-level interventions including counseling. Tier 3, for students who need intensive support, features one-to-one behavioral services.

    Bloomz is the only district-level communication platform  with a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) module built in. 

    Here are some strategies schools can use to address mental health.

    1. Discuss Students’ Needs Regularly
      Ongoing communication between parents, counselors, and teachers is vital in identifying and addressing students’ mental health needs early on. By providing frequent updates and opportunities for dialogue, schools can ensure that necessary interventions are implemented promptly, fostering a supportive environment for students’ mental health.

    2. Start a PBIS or Other Behavior-Management Program
      Research shows that schools with strong PBIS programs see improvements in student outcomes (academic as well as social). When schools use evidence-based practices to support student needs, they can gather data to make necessary changes.  Platforms like Bloomz make it easy to implement, track, and reinforce positive behaviors, automatically notify teachers about Tier II incidents, and generate administrator referral notifications if needed.

    3. Share Resources
      Using communication platforms like Bloomz to share resources can be instrumental in equipping parents, counselors, and teachers with the tools they need to support students effectively. From recognizing signs of mental health crises to learning self-coping skills, accessible resources facilitate collaboration and empower parents and students to navigate mental health challenges together.

    4. Develop a Mentorship Program
      Mentors are an excellent form of support networks for students and parents. Pairing older students with younger students creates a supportive peer-to-peer dynamic, and counselors can offer valuable guidance to parents navigating their children’s mental health journeys. These mentorship relationships foster trust, understanding, and resilience within the school community.

    5. Make Sure Your School Is Welcoming
      Creating an inclusive environment is essential for fostering strong partnerships between schools and families. When parents feel valued and welcomed in their child’s school, a culture of trust and collaboration thrives, strengthening the bond between home and school. By prioritizing openness and accessibility, schools can cultivate a supportive community committed to nurturing students’ mental well-being.

    6. Create Safe Spaces For Students
      Whether it’s a mental health club, a corner of an open classroom, the library, or an online group, having these places helps students decompress and discuss what’s happening in their lives. In the EdWeek article, “Social Media Bans Alone Won’t Improve Mental Health, Say Student Advocates,” a student started a mental health club that had more than 50 members within two weeks.

    Effective communication strategies between schools and parents can play a crucial role in supporting students' mental well-being. By engaging in these strategies, schools can actively support students’ mental well-being. Together, we can build a future where every child feels supported and empowered to thrive.