Designated as Mental Health Awareness Month, May is a time to shine a spotlight on mental health issues and help reduce the stigma so many experience — challenges educators uniquely encounter and respond to on a daily basis. It also happens to coincide with spring, the season in which research consistently finds higher levels of suicide attempts and ideation.¹⁻²
This spring, students may be returning to testing rhythms that were adjusted or eliminated during the pandemic, adding additional stress for all students, not just those with acute mental health challenges.
To help educational leaders in supporting student mental health — this month and every month — we’ve partnered with mental health experts to create a collection of practical resources. The resources cover areas such as social emotional learning, school-home partnerships to support student mental health, a model school policy for suicide prevention, and career-sustaining care for educators.
Below you’ll find a collection of insightful, actionable articles to help support you and your students.
Suicide Prevention & Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis
- Surgeon General Urges Action to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy addresses the youth mental health crisis and offers recommendations for taking supportive action.
- Supporting Students in Crisis: An Interview with The Trevor Project, Part I & Part II
Sam Brinton shares The Trevor Project’s work to support youth at risk for suicide and highlights best practices from the Model School District Policy for Suicide Prevention.
Mental Health Support for Educators
- Career-Sustaining Behaviors and Self-Care for Educational Leaders
Former superintendent Dr. C.J. Huff shares career-sustaining behaviors and self-care for educational leaders through the lens of disaster recovery.
- Recovery and Healing for Educators and Administrators
Becky Stoll, VP of Crisis and Disaster Management at Centerstone, offers actionable steps educators can take to process the challenges of the last two years and recover from the impact.
- Practices for Combating Pandemic Fatigue
It's been two long years since COVID-19 caused a massive shift in educational environments — what measures can we take to alleviate ongoing stressors? Counselor Michael E. Creekmore Jr. weighs in.
Building School-Home Partnerships to Support Student Safety
- How PTAs Can Prioritize Student Safety and Privacy Online
The National PTA understands the careful balance that must be found when weighing student safety and privacy in digital learning tools. In this blog post, the PTA asks, “How can families and schools partner to ensure student safety and privacy at the same time?”
- Collaborating to Support Student Mental Health: A Conversation Recap
Educational leaders and mental health experts in Tennessee offer a look at their collaborative strategies to support student mental health. As part of the discussion, panelists share insight and advice other districts and professionals can use to provide well-rounded mental health support for students.
Authentic Social-Emotional Learning
- Helping Students Create Healthy Relationships
Counselor Michael E. Creekmore Jr. examines what teachers can do to help students create and maintain healthy relationships in the digital era — particularly in the wake of pandemic-driven isolation and distancing.
- Redefining Our Campus Culture: SEL Is Not Extra, It's Essential!
Social Emotional Behavior Coach Rebekah Kmieciak talks about why SEL is essential to building classroom culture and offers some simple practices that help build and foster relationships in any space.
- Social-Emotional Learning and Suicide Prevention in Schools: A Four-Part Series
Dr. Lori Vollandt, education leadership expert and health education coordinator, offers a look at SEL’s important role in suicide prevention programs.
To discover how Beacon helps thousands of K-12 schools and districts support student mental health and request a trial, visit www.goguardian.com/beacon.
1) Woo, J. M., Okusaga, O., & Postolache, T. T. (2012). Seasonality of suicidal behavior. International journal of environmental research and public health, 9(2),
2) Henriksson, M. M., Aro, H. M., Marttunen, M. J., Heikkinen, M. E., Isometsa, E. T., Kuoppasalmi, K. I., & Lonnqvist, J. K. (1993). Mental disorders and comorbidity in suicide. American journal of psychiatry, 150, 935-935. 531–547. doi:10.3390/ijerph9020531