For some students, mental health issues may become more frequent or pronounced during the transition to adulthood years. Lori Desautels, Ph.D. has written extensively on the effects that both the brain and mental health have on learning. Her blog post, "The Adolescent Brain, Leaving Childhood Behind," lists seven guidelines for secondary educators that support emotional and mental health as students transition to adulthood.
- Model the behaviors we want to see.
- Tap into the strengths, passions, and expertise of all students.
- Give students choices and input into developing rules and guidelines.
- Provide safe and fair boundaries.
- Teach students about the brain and how it develops during adolescence.
- Teach them how to calm their stress response system with focused attention and brain breaks involving movement.
- Show your interest in their lives by learning the traits, norms, and interests of students—music, favorite tech, clothing, goals, etc.
In her post, Desautels expounds on these guidelines and includes links to activities, strategies, and more information.More Mental Health Resources
- Indiana School Mental Health Initiative—provides resources and
trainingswith the goal of providing support to address the social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs of Indiana’s students. https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/pages/indiana-school-mental-health-initiative
- Ideas and Strategies for the Classroom—Scroll to the list of posts beneath Dr. Desautel’s bio. https://www.edutopia.org/profile/lori-desautels
- “Meaningful Work and Recovery”—an article from Mental Health America http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/meaningful-work-and-recovery
- NADD—an association promoting the understanding of and services for people with developmental disabilities and mental health needs. http://thenadd.org/
- “Anxiety and Autism Spectrum Disorders” and “Anxiety and Panic Struggles”—two articles from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism.