Education support, Like grown-ups, children also have varied needs and different ways of dealing with stressful situations. A few may have also tasted stress, anxiety, isolation, and grief. Some may have even endured violence at home.
Sound mental health like physical health is vital. Positive mental health in the early years of children is extremely critical for their well-being and development in the present with significant implications for their future. Such children have a strong foundation for developing skills, values, behaviour, and are more likely to achieve higher education, attain better employment, build healthy and positive relationships, and contribute actively to the community. This invariably benefits both individuals and the communities where they live. Isn’t it?
Most nations have long considered the education system as an avenue for supporting mental health care for children. Frequently overlooked mental health issues can adversely impact their life and well-being. Since children spend most of their day at school, educators play a predominant role in the prevention and early intervention of children’s mental health problems. Schools are certainly a medium where mental health awareness must be a top priority.
Kids sometimes struggle with different issues as they grow and mature. Like:
relationship issues with family or peers
abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual)
self-harm or suicide
weary and distracted
loss of appetite
Being vigilant and spotting the changes in a child helps educators to intervene and offer support promptly.
While children can face mental health issues at any age, they are most at risk between the ages of 12* and 16 years old. About 1* of 7 children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 have recently experienced a mental health disorder in Australia. The most common disorder to name is ADHD, followed by anxiety, depression, and conduct disorder.
Measures to improve mental health in children
“Putting your students’ emotional needs first is important because without feeling safe and understood, no instructional strategy will be effective”- Jasper Fox Sr.
Children’s good health, growth, and well-being are always a prime priority for educators.
They need to be equipped with the time, resources, or training needed to spot early signs of mental health issues and provide the extended support children require. For this, you need to study CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support from Advanced Education and Training, (AET).
An education assistant reports and assists the teacher regarding behaviour management of the class by adopting friendly measures like rapport building and proximity; ensures regular communication with families of children, staff, and counselors to meet the individual requirements of students. They support students with disabilities, disorders, and academic or linguistic difficulties; foster an optimistic and collaborative learning environment that caters to their unique needs. They make an incredible impact not just in their schooling lives but also in their future.
CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support provides you with current, evidence-based information regarding mental health and welfare in early childhood and the skills and practices necessary to support it.
The school is in a perfect position to identify early signs of mental illness. If teachers are encouraged by the school to pay heed to the mental well-being of their students with a clear course of action to help the child, then perhaps we can work toward creating a safer and more stable educational environment for them.
Looking out for children’s mental health is essential. Though only a few signs may be noticeable, mental health concerns could exhibit differently in children when put next to adults.
Like many areas of health, prevention is ideal. Supporting children’s mental health at all times can help nip the issue in the bud. Wondering what you can do?
Recognise the unique needs, reactions, and different experiences of the child
Create and sustain routines and a peaceful classroom
Reassure that school is a safe and secure learning environment
Be vocal about mental health and seeking help
Identify changes in mood, behaviour, and performance
Enquire how children are doing
Listen to children’s concerns
Report to your school’s well-being team
Encourage play and sports to boost student interaction
Role model positive behaviors (be calm, honest, and caring)
If you’re cognizant of an incident, receive a revelation, or realise that a child has been abused or is in danger of abuse, you must follow all procedures for responding to and reporting abuse immediately.
The number of children scuffling mental health issues has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, the education support sector must introduce and implement changes and get as many people, students, teachers, and other school employees on board to raise mental health awareness.
Teacher aides play a noteworthy role in the lives of the children. By nurturing the mental health and well-being of children, you’ll not only make a positive difference in their lives but will also contribute to building a prosperous and sustainable society for all Australians.
So, begin with AET’s CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, and initiate a change in your school today.