3 key steps to support trauma-informed students

Almost every K-12 teacher or administrator can describe the mental health and wellness challenges their students now face. Statistically, it’s irreversible ও More than one-third (37 percent) of high school students reported that they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 epidemic, and 44 percent of them reported feeling constantly sad or hopeless in the past year.

The types of degrees and trauma that students are now experiencing can be measured as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that demand intentional and focused school-based support that can mitigate the effects of ACE on a student. We’ve talked about the challenges students face over the years, but now it’s time to implement support systems that not only re-employ, but keep students engaged in their learning.

ACEs are traumatic experiences that occur in childhood, such as violence, abuse, neglect, and even economic and health problems. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61 percent of adults surveyed in 25 different states reported experiencing at least one type of ACE before the age of 18, and 1 in 6 experienced 4 or more types of ACE. . Although ACEs have no single cause, they have long-term, negative effects on health, well-being, education and even job prospects. Toxic stress from ACEs affects a child’s brain development, immunity, and stress-response, resulting in impaired attention, decision-making, and learning. Nevertheless, students often lack access to proper support.

Lack of this support can be as simple as keeping proper records or as complex as systemic inequalities that lead to inconsistent support. According to the ASCA’s February 2019 report, students of color and low-income families often fall short, have unequal access to school counselors, or go to a school with very few school counselors. Epidemic education and support systems were suspended for students in schools and districts. Also, the CDC warns of an accelerated mental health crisis among adolescents. In March alone, the CDC shared new data on student well-being, which posed a threat to students’ mental health.

Every day a student suffers unsupported, making them less likely to be engaged in learning. School leaders must acknowledge the students ’emotional distress, as well as their concerns about students’ mental health and well-being. It is important to understand that even as educators, we cannot simply jump in and fix things because ACEs consist of multiple complex factors.

However, educators can immediately implement three key actions that help students with trauma-aware thinking:

1. Observe student behavior

The epidemic had a huge impact on students across the country. Although educators have done a great job of ensuring that learning continues, students (as well as adults) have gone through months of social isolation, anxiety and hardship. The students emphasized the loss of their parents’ jobs, the health of their friends and family, and even the loss of loved ones in Covid-19. The trauma caused by the epidemic and those life-changing events are no longer disappearing as students return to the classroom.

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