The Need for Mental Health Education in Schools
Getting Resources Directly into the Classroom
We created the CounSEL curriculum to help fill the need for Social Emotional Learning in grades 6 through 12, primarily to teach students how to effectively cope with the stressors and challenges they face on a daily basis. The life of teenager can be difficult and confusing. And in some cases, overwhelming to the point of crisis.
In recent years, teen and adolescent suicide rates have increased dramatically. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in people ages 15-24. Meaning, every 100 minutes, a teenager takes their own life. And to compound this, only about 30% of teens are being treated for the types of mental health conditions, like depression, that lead to suicide. The need for support and strategies to combat this type of crisis is overdue and urgent.
And as mental health clinicians, we are passionate about getting help directly into the setting where teens spend the majority of their time - the classroom - and directly into the hands of adults who support them - teachers.
Why Teenagers Need Help!
The ongoing stress that teenagers face can greatly impact their mental health. Instances of anxiety, depression and self-harming behaviors have grown among teens in recent years, and schools are often at a loss for how to help kids manage these challenges.
What we know from human development is that, on a biological level, teenagers aren't well-equipped to manage their stress effectively. The teenage brain is not fully developed, and the systems that help regulate emotions, manage impulse control and organize our human experience do not become fully operational until their mid-20s. It's no wonder that teenagers experience high instances of emotion dysregulation, mood swings, stress and conflict in their lives. It's not that teens are being dramatic, it's that their biology betrays them! They really need extra support in learning how to handle all the emotions that they experience.
There is a benefit to having a still-developing brain though. Because the brain is still growing and making connections, now is the time to learn and instill effective coping strategies. Having teens practice healthy ways to manage their emotions helps rewire the brain. Picking up helpful habits now sets them up for a healthier adulthood and can prevent mental health crises later in life.