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.
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?
I’ve already had more than a few hard conversations about the novel coronavirus and how it is impacting my students’ lives. How can we reassure our students during this crisis? And what signs should we look for to make sure that they are safe?
Intense emotions lead to an urge to protect oneself and pull away. When a child is in “protection mode,” it becomes more difficult to be in “connection mode” and continue engaging with other people.
We all want our students to succeed, but we need to show students exactly what success looks like and provide them with a roadmap to get there. Time management, note-taking, and study skills can be customized to individual learners.
It’s natural for teachers to worry that talking about suicide with their students could lead to further deaths, an idea known as suicide contagion. But avoiding the subject — and failing to create a safe space where students can grieve — can actually harm our students. To end teen suicide, adults have to step up, be brave, and have hard conversations.
The first time a child’s problematic behaviors may draw attention is when they enter the school. You have a unique opportunity to partner with parents to find appropriate mental healthcare services and set the child up for a lifetime of success.