Crisis plans, also known as safety plans, are a great tool that allow us to prevent, recognize, prepare for, and respond to a mental health crisis. While it’s always a good time to create a crisis plan, it’s best to tackle it when not in crisis. I have included my personal crisis plan at the end of this article as an example of what this tool looks like for me. Feel free to use it as a guide while crafting your own.
Without knowing the “root” of these reactions, these behaviors can be confusing, scary, and very frustrating. And, because trauma is often not disclosed, these behaviors or often misattributed to other causes by well-intending caregivers, teachers, doctors, and mental health professionals.
Some teachers used a hybrid mode of instruction, teaching students online and in the classroom simultaneously. For students and teachers fortunate enough to be on campus, social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizers became our new normal.
Keeping your students engaged requires an endless supply of energy and creativity. Battling your own fears and safety needs while also supporting your students can be exhausting. And with resources being scarce and your own and your colleagues’ emotional support reserves stretched thin, you are likely completely drained by the end of the day.
Bullying is unfortunately not a rare occurrence. About 20% of students (ages 12-18) reported experiencing bullying. The most common reasons a student is bullied include their physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.
While it is true that self-harming behavior is separate from suicidal behavior, research has indicated that engaging in self-harm increases the risk and likelihood of experiencing a suicide attempt. Additionally, serious injuries can occur from self-harming behaviors even when suicide is not the intention.
Being aware of some of the changes you are likely to see in your students is an important step in helping them adjust comfortably to this new normal.
In the physical classroom, teachers can see the signs that a student may be struggling with a mental health condition. But how can we identify students who are struggling in our online classrooms?