Since March of 2020, our world as we knew it has been turned upside down. As we are struggling to get through the pandemic and return to a semblance of normalcy, many families and educators are seeing the emotional toll it has taken on students.
According to the American Psychological Association, (APA), “The pandemic itself has caused much worry, stress, and grief. These stressors can cause mental health challenges for anyone and can cause acute symptoms to appear for people who may experience preexisting mental health challenges.”
Because of virtual learning and isolation it is harder to identify individuals having problems.
As a result of this the APA suggests mental health screening for all student age groups.
“Once students are identified as being at-risk for emotional difficulties, it is important for the school to have a plan of action to connect youth to effective support services. Ideally, this would involve in-school individual or group counseling as part of a multi-tiered system of support (Eagle et al., 2015). Alternatively, students could be referred to community agencies that treat youth with mental health disorders. Some school districts contract with community agencies to provide mental health support in the school setting.”
To learn more go to: https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/student-mental-health
Our PA START web site contains a Mental Health Tool Kit to assist families and educators to assess problems and determine a course of action.