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Resources for Educators

Educators are often the first to notice mental health problems in children and young adults. Here are some ways you can help your students and their families.

What to Know

  • The warning signs for mental health problems.

  • How to promote mental health and substance use prevention in schools and on campuses.

  • Whom to turn to, such as the principal, school nurse, school psychiatrist or psychologist, or school social worker, if you have questions or concerns about a student's behavior.

What To Look For

Consult with a school counselor, nurse or administrator and the student's parents if you observe one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks

  • Seriously trying to harm oneself, or making plans to do so

  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason

  • Involvement in many fights or desire to badly hurt others

  • Severe behavior that can hurt oneself or others

  • Not eating or throwing up to make oneself lose weight

  • Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities

  • Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still that puts the student in physical danger or causes problems in the classroom

  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol

  • Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships

  • Drastic changes in the student's behavior or personality

What to Do 

You can support the mental health of all students in your classroom and school, not just individual students who may exhibit behavioral issues. Consider the following actions:

  • Learn more about mental health by taking a mental health awareness training

  • Promote social and emotional competency and build resilience

  • Help ensure a positive, safe school environment

  • Teach and reinforce positive behaviors and decision-making

  • Encourage helping others

  • Encourage good physical health

  • Help ensure access to school-based mental health supports

Articles & Resources

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