Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

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Written by Chief Thomas Y. Trawick
on May 26, 2023

In today’s segment of “Fridays with Chief Trawick”, we’re exploring the importance of schools effectively supporting the mental health and well-being of their students. 

In post COVID-19 America, the youth and adolescents in our schools are experiencing an exponential rise in mental health crises and/or challenges. Many K-12 professionals attribute this increase to social media bullying, post COVID-19 fatigue, and environmental conditions (poverty, gangs, and drugs & alcohol). The most recent results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed an alarming increase of self-reported mental health challenges. The survey was conducted in 2021, when many schools were still in remote or hybrid learning but still illustrates the continuous rise and how sharply children’s mental health needs have increased in recent years. According to the report, in 2021: 

  • • 42 percent of high school students said they experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year—a 13.5 percent increase from 2019 and a 50 percent increase from 2011.
  • • Nearly one in five high school students had seriously considered attempting suicide during the previous year, while 18 percent made a suicide plan, and 10 percent attempted suicide.

What we can take away from these alarming statistics is that it is paramount that we use all available tools to respond to and provide resources for our children. This is where the Gaggle notifications can significantly enhance our identification and response to those who are in crisis.

Similarly, school districts can take a proactive approach when it comes to supporting and finding help for students who are in crisis by partnering with Gaggle Therapy and Coaching services. With Gaggle Therapy and Coaching, schools are able to ensure access to much-needed mental health services for all students, regardless of income, language, ability to pay, etc.

Your collective school administration teams and communities will be excited and eager to support your children and families through the Gaggle Therapy and Coaching initiative. Support this initiative and schedules should be created for the after-hours and weekend support.

It is vital that we respond to youth and adolescents who are in crisis. We must ensure that they know we love them and that they can share their feelings with us. We must emphasize that their struggles are not something to be ashamed of and that we’re here to help and assist them through the crisis.    

Thank you for participating in the “Fridays with Chief Trawick” blog series. I look forward to you continuing along with me on this crusade for the next installment of this series.

 

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