Why teachers should care more about students’ mental health

Why teachers should care more about students’ mental health

By Alexis Galarza Posted: October 14, 2020

It is no question of how different the circumstances are this year due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Many student’s lives have changed drastically within a period of seven months. Whether they are having financial difficulties due to a parent being laid off, or whether they have been forced to stare at an empty seat at the dinner table. Despite the many arising issues the global pandemic has caused, students were still expected to be back on campus with no certainty anything would be the same. 

Although the pandemic has created challenging times for students, it has not been much different in the past. Going to school five times a week, more than six hours a day can be stressful for anyone. Then coming home to a hostile environment, having work from seven different classes piled up on the table to do within the day, and still managing to get a decent amount of sleep. According to NPR, studies show “that nearly half of all teens — 45 percent — said they were stressed by school pressures.” Illustrating how students have been being crushed under the pressure of being the “perfect student” long before COVID had even happened. 

Although it is not very much discussed, Lowry and school in general has a significant toll on a student’s mental health. How students handle it depends on their ability to control the pressure and everything that comes with it. Most teachers tend to avoid the talk about how the students are doing. There could be many reasons as to why teachers and staff don’t ask, but most commonly would be as npr.org states, because “there just aren’t enough people to tackle the job.” As teachers may think this is a solid reason, it does not take much to stop for a minute and genuinely ask how a student is doing. As stated before, we spend most of our time with our teachers. If anyone can tell we are not acting the same, it should be our teachers. 

NPR also writes, “in a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse.” In other words, more students are being affected by mental health disorders than we may realize. 

Because of COVID-19, many adults have been laid off and left out of a job. Unemployment can create many different issues, such as being evicted from your home or simply not providing an everyday life for your family. Overall, this affects how students are treated in the school environment and their capability to do the work that they are assigned. As the pandemic progresses, the poverty levels continue to rise, and fewer students are able to complete the assignments, rapidly decreasing their state of mental health and feeling as they are failing and going down in the only way to go. 

As there are many reasons why mental health is so important, at this time, it is crucial to pay close attention to how students are presenting themselves. Taking close observation of how students are performing academically, finding any way to help, and genuinely being eager to make a difference in their lives.