The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost everything and one of the biggest impacts can be seen on the schools as the classes were quickly moved to the online format. Many changes, as well as great uncertainty, have emerged as the cause of stress, worry, and sorrow during the COVID-19 pandemic era.
There is no doubt that such a situation had a negative effect on the mental health well-being of the students, especially for those with pre-existing mental health problems.
Mental Health Challenge
With most of the schools opened already and others still operating remotely, it is a big challenge for the teachers to identify the students experiencing mental health issues during the pandemic. The reason behind this is that the teachers are not able to meet the students in person or are unable to read their masked faces. In this article, we will discuss the ways using which teachers and school administration can identify the students struggling with mental health conditions during the COVID 19 outbreak.
Screening of Students for their Mental Health
Systematic screening of the school population is one of the best methods to identify the students facing depression or anxiety during these extraordinary times. To participate in the process, teachers and students have been asked to complete the questionnaires regarding students’ emotions and their behavior inside the classrooms. During the screening process, teachers can even nominate the students who they find to be sad and anxious on a frequent basis. Teachers and students can complete the questionnaires either online on mobile phones or using paper and pencils.
Involving School-Based Mental Health Professionals
One of the best methods to identify and support the students who are at risk to suffer from emotional issues is to bring in school-based mental health professionals in the screening process. The school psychologist can administer rating scales including Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) or the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-Third Edition (BASC-3) and can inform the teachers and parents regarding the child’s functioning.
Reaching Out to Other Teachers
Last but not least, if a teacher finds changes in students’ behavior and performance, he/she can reach out to other teachers to confirm whether the student shows similar behavior with them. Such an activity will help the teacher to determine whether the student is facing specific mental health concerns and needs support from professionals.
Besides looking after the mental health well-being of the students at risk, school administration is also concerned regarding the security of their students and staff with reopening schools during the pandemic.
They are quite sure that while reopening the schools, digital assistants will be the need of the hour as it will not only reduce their burden of keeping their students and staff safe but will also improve data accuracy and response time.
@School is on such smart tool to help in re-opening schools, developed by Knowledge Based Consulting Inc. The productivity tool has been designed keeping in mind the need of the hour and will be capable enough of providing mental health monitoring features, analysis and generating specific reports.