Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, News & Advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

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Written by Kaitlyn Schlesinger
on March 20, 2020

There’s no question that the student mental health crisis is impacting schools. Cases of anxiety and depression are increasing, with adolescents and young adults being hit the hardest. Recent reports indicate that approximately 10 million individuals ages 13–18 are in need of professional help for a mental health condition. With this in mind, the conversation around student safety has shifted beyond protecting students in a physical sense to consider the whole child with a social and emotional approach.

While schools may have protocols in place to support struggling students on campus, the recent transition to distance learning can leave many educators unsure of how to help. Moving to a distance learning environment can also be a challenging and isolating time for students, who may feel disconnected from their friends and teachers. With changes to their routine, concerns over COVID-19, and possible scarcity of food and resources, it’s a stressful time to be a student in the U.S. As such, it’s crucial to provide students with mental health tools and resources that are accessible online.

Although things feel chaotic now, there are many online mental health resources available to help. Please refer to this list if a student needs immediate support during school closures and beyond.

For students needing more immediate help, there’re a number of call and text lines open 24/7 to assist them. These include:

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text "START" to 741-741
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Referral Helpline: 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741
  • The Anti-Violence Project Hotline: 212-714-1124

Coping with feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression can be challenging, but finding the resources to help shouldn’t be. While it’s important for students to receive help from a mental health professional, these resources can stand in for students when they need support that’s more easily accessible.

Which digital mental health resources do you refer your students to? Tell us in the comments below to help other educators support their students through this tough time.

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