What Role Can Teachers Play To Solve Depression Among Students?
Depression among adolescents is more common than most people think. School can be a cause for certain stressors and anxiety. Any mental health challenge will affect a student in the classroom, and it is therefore very crucial for teachers to look into how they can assist students going through a tough time.
As a teacher you should first try to recognize depression among your students. There are many things that indicate that they may not be in their best mental state. For example, students may not participate in their usual activities; they may not put in any effort or show any motivation; there can be a decline in their appearance; their school performance may drop; they may exhibit memory or concentration problems; and you may notice them with a lower amount of energy.
The second step is to take action to help your students. Firstly, you should keep in mind that students do not want to underperform; they do want to be successful. It is just challenging for them to articulate their needs when seeking assistance from a teacher. It is also crucial to keep in mind that you do not need to be a certified therapist or counselor to help out your children; just showing compassion and being understanding can go a long way. Here are some ways you can help your students:
1) Do not be afraid to talk to your students about depression. Just asking them how they feel can go a long way.
2) Avoid negative techniques such as punishments, sarcasm or passive-aggression, because these can amplify the feelings of low self esteem and sadness, and they are majorly ineffective.
3) Give more time to your students and offer extra help. Breaking up assignments or providing flexibility can reduce the burden on students.
4) Finally, consult with the school psychologist or counselor who can suggest ways to support specific students, and provide ways for creating a healthy learning environment.