Promoting Mental Health Within Our School Communities
May 3, 2021
May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, and Friday, May 7, is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. TCSS is thankful for the growth we’ve recently experienced, in our efforts to promote the mental health and social/emotional wellness of our students. These developments include the addition of a TCSS Mental Health Services Coordinator, as well as the addition of five more school social worker positions, made possible through funding from the Tuscaloosa County Commission and our partnership with Tuscaloosa’s One Place Family Resource Center.
From gaining knowledge on mental health, to taking a walk outside and connecting with friends, our school communities are learning about ways to promote mental health. What is mental health? We all have mental health the same way we all have physical health, and our children have mental health. Mental health is important at every stage of life and plays a critical role in shaping a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development, all parts of a healthy brain. Mental health includes all states of health, from wellness to challenges to illness, and describes a person’s state of emotional, psychological and social well-being, which affects the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves.
What can you do to help raise awareness of mental health?
- Talk openly about mental health.
- Educate yourself and others about mental health.
- Be conscious of your language- avoid words and phrases that perpetuate bias and discrimination.
- Encourage equality in how people perceive physical illness and mental illness.
- Show empathy and compassion for those living with a mental health condition.
It is important for children to learn to care for their mental health, just as they care for their physical health. While young people cannot help having feelings of fear, worry, or anxiety, they do have the ability to rebound. Teaching them emotional intelligence - how to recognize, understand and deal with their emotions - builds resilience and is a crucial life skillset.
Emotional intelligence is:
Self-awareness: Your ability to recognize your own emotions and their effects.
Self-management: Your ability to manage emotions effectively.
Social awareness: Your ability to have empathy and respect for others.
Relationship skills: Communication and social engagement, teamwork.
Responsible decision-making: Identifying, analyzing, and solving problems.
Click for a calendar of activities that promote mental health awareness.
TCSS is proud to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week. Your school counselor and school social workers are here to support students’ mental health needs!