People of all ages suffer from mental health issues including adolescents. In fact, 1 in 5 children will be affected by a mental health disorder WITH 80 percent of chronic mental illness beginning in their childhood. The symptoms of mental illness can do a real number on the mood and the behavior of kids especially when they are in school. The travesty is that teachers are not always equipped to handle the behaviors that kids display stemming from their mental health issues.
Teachers do typically care about all their students and their mental well-being even on the days that may be tougher to deal with their mental health issues. One teacher is doing her part to help her students in school and reduce any symptoms that can help them to feel safer in the classroom. Teacher, Samantha Pratt, in South Florida devised an idea that could be conducive to track the mental state of her students before the first bell rings.
The idea is for an app that would inform the teacher of how the day of their students is going so they can build momentum on how to approach the day for each student. Everyone in the class would answer five questions on their app before school, or before each class, that will indicate their mental state. Some examples of the question are Do you feel safe? Do you feel prepared to learn today? Students would put their answers on a scale to become coded for the teacher to conduct their classroom appropriately.
With all of the recent school shootings, sexual orientation confusion, and rampant addiction, the teacher can give the students the tools that they need to cope including ones that suffer from mental health issues. Sometimes getting the treatment that they need at school can take too long to access from lack of counselors and mounds of paperwork that must be filled out.
Technology may be necessary bridge the gap that could give students an opportunity to get the backing that need to thrive in their education. Although the app has found a developer, the only thing holding back the creation is the necessary funding the app needs. The proposed app can help teachers get more immediate information to support their students as well as give them the opportunity to change their teaching plans based off the student’s needs. Having a tool to make school a much safer environment could be the course to open students up emotionally.
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