Featured Mental Health Articles

Disruptive behavior in schools exhibited by teenage girl in hallway.

Violence Prevention in Schools: Managing Disruptive Behavior


14 min read
It is easy to become overwhelmed and to struggle with helpless/hopeless feelings when confronted with a problem as complex as school-based violence. It is not just students and families who are dealing with “a cascade of collective traumas.” School professionals are also affected and can find it difficult, if not impossible, to stay calm and engage their cognitive skills when feeling unsafe.
To examine the link between ADHD and gaming, it’s important to understand the disorder and the nuances within ADHD itself. ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.
After an act of violence or devastation, it’s vital to address what’s happened with the children in our lives and provide resources for mental health. The following guide is meant to provide a trauma-attuned framework that can help adults in structuring those difficult conversations.
Initially it may not seem worrisome to parents when a child doesn’t want to go to school as missing a single day doesn’t qualify as chronic absenteeism. We all have an occasional day when we’d rather just play hooky. But chronic absenteeism because of school refusal or school avoidance is more than a rare instance of not being in the mood for school. It’s a serious issue and a growing problem across the country, at all grade levels.
Like many other mental health terms, the word “bipolar” has entered the popular lexicon; particularly when we think of “teens with bipolar disorder,” the phrase is frequently misused to describe everything from a moody and unpredictable adolescent to rapidly changing weather conditions. This contributes to a lack of understanding and empathy for individuals who struggle with bipolar disorder, causing both heartache and sometimes shame for them and their families.
As a provider of mental health services in schools, Effective School Solutions’ clinicians see firsthand the challenges students face on a daily basis (listen to our recent podcast to learn more). Students are juggling more responsibilities and commitments than ever and the pressure to succeed is never ending, resulting in an increase in mental health issues. Numerous studies have confirmed the uptick.
At a juncture in almost every student’s life, typically during the middle school years, the topic of “mentorship” will come to the forefront. Mentorship plays a pivotal role in the academic realm of the Guidance office, on the field for athletics, or in the confines of a practice room for musicians. Youth mentor programs have been shown to have significant positive effects on the mental well-being of students.
No matter how difficult it is, talking about youth suicide is imperative. Read our latest article to learn more about suicide prevention.
Despite considerable handwringing about the fate of technology-obsessed young people, it is important to recognize that the picture is more nuanced. Yes, there are risks, but there is also considerable evidence that there are many positive aspects to social media usage, and that it is possible to help teens learn how to maximize its benefits while optimizing safety and managing its risks.
Among all the profound transitions in childhood—ranging from the shift from baby to toddler, toddler to preschool, preschool to kindergarten, and kindergarten to elementary school—one transition stands out as particularly influential on a child’s life: the pivotal leap from elementary school to middle school.
Mental health in schools is a domain where the capture of progress monitoring data has traditionally lagged, with qualitative descriptions of student progress being more common than quantitative measures. Measuring the seemingly “immeasurable” has often seemed too daunting a task. As a result, the impact of school-based mental health initiatives is often “invisible” to most end users, including policymakers.
As we strive for a society that embraces diversity and celebrates individuality, it is crucial to ensure that schools become nurturing and supportive places for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In this article, we will delve into practical approaches that educators, administrators, and students can adopt to foster acceptance, understanding, and respect for LGBTQ+ individuals. By implementing these strategies, we can work together to build a more inclusive educational landscape where every student feels valued, seen, and empowered to thrive.
Both students and teachers look forward to summer as a time when their lives are less regimented by alarm clocks and bells and packed schedules. At the same time, now more than ever, many students can benefit from the creation of a distinct summer safety plan that provides some structure and predictability and specifies available resources.
The news about teacher burnout has come to rival the concerns about soaring problems with student mental health and learning loss. As The 74 reported on February 4, 2023, “Teachers are tied with nurses for experiencing more job-related stress than any other profession.” At the same time, there are many barriers to accessing mental health services, given varying levels of health insurance coverage, long waiting lists to see a mental health practitioner and ongoing stigma about asking for help.
The Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework was originated by educators to ensure that all students receive the individualized help that they need to succeed academically and behaviorally. The MTSS concept of a continuum of tiered instruction and interventions has evolved over the years to be fully inclusive of all students. The currently popular Equity-Based MTSS model is seen as a framework that is beneficial for all students, including those identified as students with disabilities. The Equity-Based MTSS model translates extremely well to the delivery of school-based mental health services, as it assumes that all students need to cultivate an awareness of mental health issues, those who are functioning well academically, socially, and emotionally, as well as those with the most severe and disabling symptoms.
Many students who had spent their early years in COVID-related isolation were showing delays in reaching developmental milestones, and particularly in their ability to effectively self-regulate and socialize to classroom-based learning. Hoping to build on a successful partnership with ESS in the delivery of Tier II and III services for older students, administrators asked ESS to develop a Tier I program to assist its youngest students and agreed that ESS’s trauma-informed clinical approach combined with the child development model known as DIR® offered an excellent starting point.
Teachers and other school staff are often in the best position to identify students who are struggling and help them get adequate care, support, and helpful interventions. Districts can benefit from clinically supported tools, e.g., universal mental health screenings, to help better identify students experiencing mental health challenges. The earlier we identify symptoms, the quicker we can intervene and provide treatment, which can reduce the incidence rate, duration, and severity of youth mental illness.
If you know someone with autism, which is likely considering the rate of autism prevalence in the U.S. is now 1 in 36, then you are probably aware that April is Autism Acceptance Month. This annual celebration of people with autism, denoted by fundraisers, rallies, and social media posts, used to be referred to as “Autism Awareness Month” until 2020, when the Autism Society of America replaced “Awareness” with “Acceptance” for the first time and is now urging the United States government to formally declare April Autism Acceptance Month.
Self-harm, also known as Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), is a serious public health concern for teens and young adults. Although distinct from suicidality per se, it is typically associated with suicidal ideation, anxiety, and depression, all of which have dramatically increased in this population over the last decade.
While most districts have the will to support the mental health of their students, it is the execution – the processes, policies, and systems – needed to deliver high-quality services that remain a work in progress for many districts. Our six-point framework represents the key areas that districts should focus on in the next five years when reinventing mental health care in schools.
Eating Disorders Awareness Week is the ideal time for school districts to use their considerable reach to educate staff, students, and parents about offering students help with eating disorders and to help students cultivate healthier relationships with food. Learn more about how schools can help.
The rise of digital media is one factor contributing to the worsening of kids’ mental health, a relationship we can’t ignore. How does technology and social media affect mental health?
Even before the pandemic, educators noted a rise in aggressive, and even violent student behavior. Learn more about how teachers can address this disruptive behavior with our 8 Strategies to Manage Challenging Classroom Behaviors.
The function of human sleep has puzzled scientists for a long time, yet slowly but surely, they are putting the pieces together as data mounts about the effects of sleep deprivation on mental health. Why is sleep hygiene important?

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With every ESS partner, we will:

• Set data driven goals at the beginning of every implementation

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