Tagged “Mental Health”

Klea Scharberg

Healthy in Every Way

"Today educators are interested in the whole life of the child. They are aware that experiences in school affect not only the child of today, but also the man of tomorrow. No longer is 'book learning' the total aim of the days and years of classroom attendance.

There is also the recognition that the health of the child determines his ability to deal with his school tasks. The next step toward understanding man at his various stages of development is being taken by recognizing that only the mentally healthy child can make full use of the tools for living handed him in school."

This quote is tailor-made for our look at what it means and takes for children to be mentally healthy. It was also written 63 years ago, in May 1949, by Dr. Mabel Ross, director of Prince George's County (Md.) Mental Health Clinic in ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine (read the article [PDF] and the full issue).

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Sean Slade

The Unknown Students

How well do you know your students? How well do you know each student? Many schools use the following activity or something similar as part of professional development.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Learning in the Midst of Poverty

ASCD Annual Conference

Post submitted by whole child blogger Paulina Malek, a senior majoring in magazine journalism at Temple University. She hopes to report on poverty, race relations, and animal rights issues in the future.

About 15 percent of Americans are living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This number also includes millions of students who are coping with its stressors daily. In his ASCD Annual Conference session "Highly Effective Teaching with Poverty in Mind," Eric Jensen discussed shifting attitudes about students who experience poverty and techniques educators can use to help them achieve success. Jensen, a staff developer, educator, and author, uses research-based strategies to train educators in brain-based learning.

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Molly McCloskey

Best Questions: Mental Health

Despite the rumors, school improvement is hard. It's not about a single passionate leader. It's not about "fixing" teachers and teaching or parents and parenting. It's not about poverty. It's not about money. And it's not about standards. It's about all of them. And more.

In this column, I'll take on the real deal of school improvement—for all schools, not just certain kinds. And for all kids. Because it's not about quick fixes or checking off the instant strategy of the moment. It's about saying, "Yes, and...", not "Yes, but..."; no matter what our circumstances are. It's about asking ourselves the best questions.

More than 20 years ago, I spent one school year as the full-time school counselor in an early childhood center in Washington, D.C. Our enrollment was 250 full-day preK and kindergarten students in an old, huge brick building with 20-foot high ceilings and massive center courtyard-like hallways. I spent the year in easily washable clothes and with my hair in a ponytail at all times because, as anyone who has ever worked in early childhood can tell you, fancy clothes and fancy hair don't mix well with peanut butter and finger paint. It may have been the best job (before this one at ASCD, of course) that I ever had.

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Sean Slade

A Health Iceberg

I use these slides often when discussing health. It starts with the tenets, becomes a pyramid, and then ends with what I call a "health iceberg." Let me show you what I mean.

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Klea Scharberg

Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, May 9, 2012

What does it take for children to be mentally healthy? Being mentally healthy is not just about emotional and behavioral difficulties. It's also about being mentally strong and resilient and having the skills and supports to deal with stressful issues when they arise. Today is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, established and promoted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Awareness Day national event complements activities occurring across the country, such as community events, youth rallies, social media campaigns, and activities with children that promote communication between adults and children following traumatic experiences.

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Podcast Whole Child Podcast

What Does It Take for Children to Be Mentally Healthy?

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A child's mental health is influenced by her biology, social and physical environment, and behavior, as well as the availability of services. Good emotional and behavioral health enhances a child's sense of well-being, supports satisfying social relationships at home and with peers, and facilitates achievement of full academic potential. Research shows that one of five children and adolescents aged 9 to 17 experience symptoms of mental health problems that cause some level of impairment in a given year. However, fewer than 20 percent who need mental health service receive them.

But, being mentally healthy is not just about emotional and behavioral difficulties. It's also about being mentally strong and resilient and having the skills and supports to deal with stressful issues when they arise. In a nationally representative survey of 12- to 17-year-old youths and their trauma experiences, 39 percent reported witnessing violence, 17 percent reported physical assault, and 8 percent reported a lifetime prevalence of sexual assault.

Just as one can be physically healthy or unhealthy, one can also be mentally healthy or unhealthy. In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss the importance of each child, in each school and in each community, being socially, emotionally, and mentally healthy. You'll hear from

  • Erica Ahmed, director of public education for Mental Health America, formerly the National Mental Health Association.
  • Jo Mason, acting national business manager and national professional product development manager for whole child partner Principals Australia Institute and MindMatters, Australia.
  • Philip C. Rodkin, associate professor of child development in the Departments of Educational Psychology and Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

How does your school and community promote good mental health, build resiliency, and facilitate wellness for your children?

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Village of Attachment

Post submitted by Bev Ogilvie and Steve Cairns

Byrne Creek Community Secondary School is committed to its culture of teacher collaboration. A weekly dedicated time slot is used by staff teams to discuss student achievement and develop support plans. One student support plan was The Village of Attachment. Over six months, a group of staff met to learn the foundations and employ the strategies of this powerful paradigm.

Drawing on neuroscience, social science, and developmental approaches, district counselor Bev Ogilvie and retired principal Steve Cairns, founders of the program, embrace the African proverb that it takes a whole village to raise a child. The village is a web of adults who are committed to the cause of connectedness in our homes, schools, and communities. Their belief is that it is vitally important that adults lead children, that we are a child's beacon, his north star, his lighthouse, his compass. When adults are in the alpha position, children are able to rest in this security, develop deep roots of attachment with us, and reach their full human potential.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Promoting Mental Health Through a Whole School Approach

Gloria Wells

Post submitted by Gloria Wells, president of whole child partner the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Schools Society and executive director of Wellsprings Education and Human Service Consulting, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Addressing mental health issues in schools is vitally important to the well-being of school community members. The International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Schools (INTERCAMHS) Society is a network of global agencies and individuals in the fields of education, health, mental health, and academia who collectively recognize the intrinsic interconnectedness of positive social, emotional, and mental well-being as a precursor to optimal academic outcomes. Via its not-for-profit society status, INTERCAMHS is providing a mechanism for anyone with similar beliefs to become a member as a means to further boost progress in this work.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates


Mental Health Hotline Now Serving Students: Minnesota's largest school district, Anoka-Hennepin School District, will begin providing a mental health hotline for students and family members this summer. According to Superintendent Dennis Carlson, there is an unmet need for mental health service throughout the state. Callers to the hotline will be able to get referrals to other county services for further assistance. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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