Monday is World Mental Health Day – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Monday October 10 is World Mental Health Day.

it’s a An initiative of the World Health Organization To help raise awareness and increase resources for mental illness, especially since the pandemic.

Mental health issues were trending upward even before COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 3 high school students experienced persistent feelings of sadness in 2019. This has been a 40% increase since 2009.

That data increased even more in the past year. The CDC also says that in 2021, more than a third of high school students reported experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic. 44% reported feeling persistent sadness or hopelessness.

Locally, there is a huge focus on how to help young people with mental health issues.

School districts like ISD Dallas encourage everyone to talk about these things and break the stigma. big part of that Social Emotional Learning, or SEL.

SEL teaches students self-management and self-awareness every day. It is very important that DISD has created a partition for it. Click here for more information.

They provide resources for families, training for teachers and staff, and tools like smartphone apps that alert counselors to students who are showing signs of frustration or anxiety.

It has counseling services Even incorporating suicide prevention education In its extension lessons with specific training for all employees.

Stephanie Chong with Flag of America DFW He also works with ISD and Fort Worth ISD educators in Dallas on socio-emotional learning as well.

“Students in particular face a lot of different and different pressures and challenges in their lives and at school,” she said. “For educators, in order to integrate SEL skills into the daily routines of the classroom and daily lessons, it really helps students begin to build those skills they need to overcome all the challenges they are dealing with.”

She said it’s important for parents and educators to reframe the way they view the mental health of young people today.

“If a student is feeling sick and has a fever in school, they probably won’t be able to focus or learn in the classroom. And so I think we need to start thinking about students’ mental health in the same way,” Chung said. “If a student has severe anxiety or depression, it is also possible that they are unable to learn to the fullest potential of the class. So be aware of that, as a teacher and parents.”

Parents and teachers face a lot. Teens are dealing with all kinds of new pressures — social media included. Signs can also vary in each person.

“I think the signs that you can see in students — they show up in a lot of different ways. It can show up in how a student interacts with their classmates and how students can focus and focus on working in class. It can also just show up in their general health. If they have a headache. Or if they have stomach pains, those are all signs that could indicate things are going on with a student’s mental health.”

Finally, Chung noted that while society has a lot to work on in providing more mental health support for everyone—including people of color and the LGBTQ community—a lot of progress has been made in the past three decades.

We’ve definitely come a long way. And now it’s great to sometimes hear students talk about their mental health and wellness — to have the vocabulary, to have the words,” she said. “That’s something not everyone has had for decades. We didn’t always know the words to express how we feel.”

Dallas ISD has also made efforts to recruit 30 to 40 licensed mental health clinicians for this school year. In previous years, doctors would deal with three or four schools at a time, but now more schools will focus attention and more students will have access to someone to talk to.

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