In this week’s edition of the “The Next Web,” we take a look at the top threats facing the eastern high schools in a way that might be less jarring to students or parents.
Read moreIn a report released Monday by the U.S. Education Department, the department found that as many as 2,600 students have been “at risk” for suicide during the current school year.
A third of those students have a mental health diagnosis that would make them at-risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior, such as a family history of depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.
Many of the students have recently received support from school counselors and schools have been offering free meals to those who struggle with mental illness.
But as with most issues facing the school, there’s a lot to like about the findings.
It’s a good sign that the Department of Education has begun to take a proactive role in addressing mental health issues.
The report also highlights the tremendous strides being made in educating students about mental health.
According to the Department, “mental health literacy is among the top-performing school curricula across the country.”
As the department noted in its report, schools have begun to adopt “truly inclusive” and “engaging” mental health education in order to improve students’ mental health, and they’re working to implement more interventions and supports to make students feel more comfortable.
“The vast majority of students in our data have completed high school,” said Julie McAlister, director of the Center for Education and Mental Health at The College of William and Mary.
“So, as a school, we can see how important mental health literacy and support are for students.”
McAlister said that schools have a lot of work to do in terms of engaging students with support services, especially as many students still struggle with depression and anxiety.
“We really do need to get to a place where we can engage students with their mental health needs and provide mental health support, and that’s really the best place to be,” she said.
“We’re seeing that progress.
But we also need to work in other areas where we’re seeing a lot more progress.”
McMulhany said the department’s report shows that many schools are still struggling to identify and support students who need help.
The department said it has identified a few schools with particularly high rates of suicidal ideation and attempts among students, which could lead to students at risk for further harm.
“If students are experiencing suicidal thoughts, they can report them to us, but there is a tremendous stigma attached to it, and students aren’t getting the support they need,” McAlisters said.
The Department of Health and Human Services is also taking steps to address mental health among students.
It is partnering with schools to provide “community-based mental health workshops” and has expanded outreach to schools and communities.
However, some schools remain behind.
McMullan said that there’s still a lot we don’t know about the mental health of students.
She also noted that, for students, school is a place of safety and support.
“What we’re really trying to do is make sure that schools are places of safety, where students can connect with other students, and then there’s the hope that schools will also provide students with an opportunity to meet and connect with others,” she told The Next World.
“And that is a really important part of the education system.”