Mental Health To The Fore: More Support For Learners In A Turbulent Time
In the wake of Covid-19, more mental health support is being brought into education providers, to help deal with the long tail of a global pandemic.
As part of a comprehensive wellbeing support package for the entire education sector, it has been announced by Associate Minister of Education Tracey Martin that up to 40 new roles as Curriculum Leads will be funded in schools across New Zealand.
These new frontline staff will support high quality teaching that promotes the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, with Minister Martin sharing “we are funding up to 40 Curriculum Leads who will work directly with schools, kura, early learning services and kōhanga reo to support the teaching of mental health and healthy relationships and promote the wellbeing of learners”.
This move is well timed, as teachers are coming to terms with assisting learners in an incredibly volatile and unprecedented global landscape. With schools closed down across the country during the nationwide lockdown, and the constant bad news cycle in the media, teachers are increasingly having to put more focus on the health and mental wellbeing of their students.
And while the New Zealand government’s $32.8 million wellbeing and mental health program that was announced this month is going to be beneficial, there are resources out there to help right now.
The Hub (hyperlink to https://theeducationhub.org.nz/ have a veritable library of valuable resources and research which can help in managing the mental health and wellbeing of your learners – even for children as young as six.
New entrants may not understand the intricacies of what’s going on in the world around them, but as teachers, we can equip them with resilience techniques to help them navigate the complex and stressful global environment that they’re a part of.
An academic study conducted in 2004 showed that building individual relationships with students, effective classroom management and clear expectations all have a positive impact, making learners more engaged and resilient. So in this increasibly turbulent time, building resilience and fostering the mental wellbeing of your students may be as easy as working on your relationships with them, and making your classroom a place of stability.
Students spend upwards of six hours a day in school, in our care – so we’re going to have to help shepherd them through this strange new world that is changing day by day. And the first step towards doing that, is through their mental wellbeing.