Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

In today’s competitive world, stress is an inevitable part of student life. 

Whether it is about passing an upcoming exam or completing assignments, students are bound to experience some level of stress which is completely normal. However, students with mental health issues require special care and attention as stress can overwhelm them tremendously. 

If students are unable to control their stress levels, they may develop various physical and mental health problems. For students’ overall well-being, it is important that their mental health needs are addressed along with their academic development and physical health needs. In this regard, both educators and counselors have an important role to play because they interact with students regularly. As a result, they are better positioned to identify students’ mental health needs and respond to them by using the educational institution’s resources. In this article, we will share some simple tips on how educators can work toward addressing and accommodating the mental health needs of their students.

Regular Mental Health Assessment

Mental health assessment should be made a regular exercise within the educational institution. This practice can help identify early signs of mental health problems and encourage children and teenagers to take preventive steps in a supportive environment. 

Various standards, assessment tools, and methods can be administered to gauge students’ attitudes and skills as part of the overall counseling strategy of the institution. The results of these assessments can form the basis of any future interventions or programs that the counselor develops to address emerging mental health needs in the students. 

These assessments should be designed to capture multiple and diverse data that can point to potential mental health problems in students. For example, attendance records, academic grades, participation in school activities, disciplinary issues and subversive behavior, and sudden changes in behavior and mood are all reliable indicators of any change in students’ mental health. 

Educators and Counselors Should Become Mental Health Champions

It is important to define the role of the educator and counselor by redefining their responsibility towards the overall well-being of students. 

Educators and counselors should start to view themselves as advocates or champions of the mental health needs of students. They can opt for a counseling program to educate themselves about the apparent and hidden signs that reveal underlying mental health needs of students, such as anxiety, stress, addiction and depression. This could include training in professional methods of counseling and therapy, such as psychological testing, cognitive therapy, and behavioral change management. 

Regular Meetings And Follow-Ups 

Regular meetings and follow-ups with students are other great options for counselors to stay aware of their student’s academic and emotional state. It’s not necessary to physically meet students every day. A simple email, an SMS or even a video call to check-in and communicate with students can help students realize that there is someone they can count on in times of crisis. These steps can do wonders for the emotional and mental well-being of students. 

Students who suffer from symptoms of stress and anxiety often feel unsafe in new situations. It could be a new class, meeting a new person or even a surprise quiz. These elements can often trigger their stress levels. Therefore, establishing a fixed class schedule and making all students follow it can help them feel less anxious and more relaxed in class. 

Awareness Programs for Students

Awareness programs should be introduced in educational institutions whereby students are encouraged to talk about their mental health challenges. Instead of feeling ashamed or embarrassed about their mental health problems, students should feel confident about opening up to their teachers and counselors about the things that make them feel mentally stressed and anxious. Students should not feel hesitant to express their concerns about the academic pressures that the school imposes on them. On their part, educators should objectively evaluate such complaints and reassess the expectations that they have from their student, both in terms of learning outcomes and teaching objectives. 

Channeling Resources

A certain portion of the day should be allocated to counsel students about mental health needs. There should be designated open hours during which any student can drop in to the office of their teacher or counselor to discuss their problems and anxieties. Hotlines should also be set up where students who feel less confident about discussing their mental health problems in person can speak to the counselor anonymously. These conversations can help them feel safe while discussing issues like peer pressure, academic performance, family conflict, or child abuse. At a later stage, the student can be advised to seek professional psychiatric or psychological support, if needed.

Apart from providing access to professional psychological counseling and treatment, educators and counselors should also be aware of community resources that can support students’ mental health in a cost-effective way. This includes being aware of local support groups, community centers, sports clubs, rehabilitation centers, libraries and websites where students can be guided to seek more information and support in their journey to better mental health. In many cases, it is likely that these easily accessible resources will provide much-needed relief and respite to the student and prevent the issue from escalating or becoming more complicated.


Family support is vital to the success of any efforts by educators and counselors to improve the mental health of their students. However, they should not approach parents, guardians or friends of the student or involve them in the counseling process without the consent of the student. Taking the student into confidence is critical to retaining their trust and commitment to whatever intervention is being implemented. 

At times, the counselor may be required to educate parents about mental health problems and address any stigma or cultural bias that might prevent them from supporting their child with the required resources. If the student feels comfortable with the idea of their parents or family being involved in the process, then the counselor can open up a channel of communication with them and enlist their support to explore various approaches to address them. 

By John

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