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School counselor on how to help students recover from pandemic stress

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In an article we published on Sunday, an American school counselor described a generation of students who missed an important period of social and emotional development during a pandemic.

A New York Times survey of 362 members of the American School Counselors Association worries about basic skills such as children’s ability to learn and make friends, as well as an astonishing increase in anxiety, suicidal ideation, and vandalism. I said that I am doing it. But they are also reassured by the progress of the children since the school was reopened and their willingness to seek help.

“I don’t think Covid will destroy this generation,” said Dr. Jennifer Havens, chair of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division at NYU Langone Health. “I think the kids are resilient. But it really increased the stressors of the kids. You need to understand how to help them.”

The eight things the counselor has suggested are:

According to counselors, extracurricular activities provide a normal sense and a way to practice collaboration and dispute resolution away from the computer. In some communities, schools are open but restricted.

“We need to increase the sociable play time of young students. No Increase the number of scholars. We see students needing to tackle self-regulation and social skills to catch up, which is impacting academic growth. Sarah Flyer at Willow River Elementary School in Hudson, Wisconsin.

“Junior high school students need and want more computer-free extracurricular activities than ever before. Popular at my school are sports, lego leagues, destination Imaginations, dramas, choruses and bands. By playing game nights with the family, solving puzzles together, doing community activities with the family, and sitting at dinner without technology, students acquire the social and emotional skills they need to succeed. Can be attached. “Laura Donica, Indian Reverse School, Canan, New Hampshire

In the survey, three-quarters of counselors said the school needed more staff to meet the social and emotional needs of the child. This month, Randy Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, called student mental health an “American silence epidemic” and called for more school counselors, social workers, psychologists and nurses.

“We need help. We need to hire more counselors. Ratios need to be mandatory, not just recommendations. This is not sustainable at this level.” Kathy Searney, Weston Elementary School, Weston, Wisconsin.

“We put our money into what we prioritize. I think the ratio of school counselors to social workers clearly shows the level of priority.” Melissa Ostrovsky, Pennsylvania. School district, Millersville, Pennsylvania.

Many counselors have mentioned creating a space where students can rest when they are overwhelmed. They call them wellness rooms or reset areas and have sofas, fidgeting toys, stress balls, snacks and soothing activities.

“I created and used calming bottles and stress balls in all grades to help students stay focused and calm without help. Teachers also give them their individual classes. Now demands. “Therese Farmer, Wisdom Educational Consulting Services, Capitol Heights, Maryland.

Social and emotional learning, such as managing emotions, addressing goals, and practicing empathy, has become an integral part of the school. The survey stated that 8 out of 10 counselors teach it throughout the student’s body. The counselor said it worked best when the teacher adopted it all day long. In some places, it is a distraction from scholars and has been targeted by conservative politicians and activists who claim to teach “left-wing ideology.”

“Providing appropriate mental health services to students needs to be as important as other aspects of the school. Students suffering from anxiety, depression, or sadness can learn and maximize their potential. Unable to grow into sex. Unfortunately, school counselors have sometimes been criticized in our state. “Laurenne Hamlin, Concord Middle School, Elk Heart, Indiana.

Many counselors said they started lessons throughout the school on issues that became more serious during the pandemic, such as managing anxiety and improving executive function. Several suggested sessions that encourage children to use art and storytelling to handle the pandemic experience.

“Students reacted very We are actively working on opportunities to express and process emotions of the past two years and current anxieties and worries using art. Curriculum and training rely on the work of the local non-profit organization Jess Firestone, Buckman Elementary School, Portland, Oregon.

“We need more opportunities for children to talk about the pandemic and how it affected them. Not all students had a terrible experience and it should be minimized as well. There is none. all Students need the opportunity to unload their pandemic experience. Helen Everit, Davis Drive Middle School, Cary, NC

Almost half of the counselors surveyed said their students were using the Internet at school after increasing access at remote schools. This was a more inappropriate method than before. These include cyberbullying, buying arcpen on social media, searching for sexual topics, playing video games in class, and performing TikTok challenges such as destroying or stealing school assets. They suggested further limiting the use of mobile phones and the Internet and taught children how to put what they saw on social media in context.

“I’m worried they can’t get away from their phone or social media. I recommend social media literacy classes.” Brian Chapel, Francis Scott Key High School, Union Bridge, Mary. Land state.

Family members and teachers can be a buffer for children who are struggling, but counselors say it is difficult when they are also struggling. They suggest classes, books, videos on how to help children, and help connect families with community resources for mental health and essentials such as housing and food.

“We really believe that families and communities need to be involved in conversations about social and emotional needs. Families in my small community are injured and less aware of their struggle. Not much. It’s much less limiting how family troubles affect students and buffer adult abilities. ”Sarah Swanson, Tukurngailnguq School, Stebbins, Alaska.

“More Mental Health Support for Teachers — Teachers Must Be able to Establish a Foundation and Provide a Safe Teaching Environment for Children.” Stony Point Sabot in Richmond, Virginia, Henry Bee.

Counselors do preventative work to meet short-term needs. For more serious problems, refer students to out-of-school mental health resources. However, in many cases, parents are unable to encounter waiting lists or pay for treatment.

“We need more mental health hospitals, community resources, and therapists. Students referred for anxiety may have to be put on the waiting list. Worse, students are at stake. The number of beds available in the community is very limited if you are on the verge of needing a mental health assessment. ”Shannon Doneron, Clarkston Junior High School, Clarkston, Michigan.