Education + Mental Health?
At first glance, it might seem like a strange combination. How could teaching and mental health be related? But in fact, there is a tremendous overlap between education and mental health!
Education refers to a child's life in the classroom and mental health looks at a child's life both in and out of the classroom. When we talk about mental health in education, we mean a child’s social, emotional, and behavioral needs. All humans have needs, and when they aren’t met it changes how we interact with others, how we feel, and how we act.
As adults, we typically can’t focus on work when we’re fighting with someone in our life, feeling angry or sad. It’s the same way for children when they’re hungry, sad, tired, angry, running around, or being bullied at school. When a child is having trouble at school, it’s easy to blame it on their lack of focus, acting out, or intelligence. But by doing that, we’re missing the whole picture.
A child’s academic success is made up of many factors. Some have to do with the child’s outer world which includes their community and school. Others have to do with the child’s home life, meaning their mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, cultural influences, and socioeconomic status. Inner factors are the child’s natural intelligence, emotions, behaviors, and social skills. Combined, these factors create the child and the environment that the child learns from.
Notice that none of the factors have to do with the educational material. This is because children are naturally curious and ready to soak up the world! When one of the many inner and outer factors get in the way, a child’s academic success suffers. Those social, emotional, and behavioral challenges need to be taken care of first for the child to thrive academically!
As mental health professionals, we look at all of these factors. We call this our "mental health perspective". Having a mental health perspective and working one-on-one with students in their homes allows us to intervene in different ways than a teacher in a classroom. We teach our students how to identify their emotions and help them to improve their impulse control and social skills.
At Lil’ Eggheads, our knowledge of mental health is an asset in working with families and build all children into curious, confident, and creative learners! If you have any more questions about how education and mental health overlap feel free to contact us at email@example.com!