I will never forget when, in my first year of teaching, one of my students told me that he was going through a tough time and wanted to hurt himself.
I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the school counselor and told him what the student had told me. A counselor called the student and contacted the mother to talk about available help.
The next day, a student came to my classroom, approached me, and said, Now they think I’m trying to kill myself! That statement was followed up with about a month of silent treatment. About a month after he hadn’t spoken to me, one day he came into my classroom, shook my hand, and said, “Thank you! You have no idea how close I was to suicide.” I guess.”
Twenty years have passed since that moment, but I will never forget his words, his name, and his face. I say that not to praise or pat myself on the back, but because many children are hurting just like him right now.The mental health situation is critical. It’s in stages and everyone needs to work together.
I think most of us grew up in a world where we didn’t talk about mental health and were told to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps.” The challenge with this way of thinking is that we are not wired that way. Some children are unable to respond as such, which can result in a mental health crisis.
I used to think that mental health issues affecting children were related to a dysfunctional home life, but personal experience tells me that no matter what home life is, it The anxiety that plagues many of our children is at a critical stage right now, and it is up to us, as parents and educators, to navigate it ourselves. is not easy.
This article is written to emphasize two important points. 1 – You can be someone’s guardian. When the student walked into my classroom 20 years ago, I had no idea what he was trying to say to me.
In our society, needing mental health help is often seen as a negative thing, but we have to fight that stigma and show that this is a real problem. Hmm. Many of us deal with similar problems with our children and it’s okay to ask for help even if we don’t have the answers. is to ask.
There are many agencies and services available for people of all ages, but if you have children, schools can be a great resource. Schools are staffed with school counselors, external counseling agencies, school social workers, school psychologists, etc., ready to connect students and families with available resources and services as needed.
We are here to help, not judge. If you know someone who is hurt or in pain, it is important to support and advocate for them. No one knows the impact you have on someone’s life.
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources
ruOK Berks – 1-888-219-3910 or 610-379-2007
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Assistance – Dial 988
https://www.readingeagle.com/2022/11/25/superintendents-forum-help-is-available/ Supervisor Forum: Help is Available