At Equity Associates, we believe one of the best ways to provide youth with mental health services is to give them access where they spend their day. Here are four reasons why schools should implement mental health services.
Schools are a Natural Setting to Support Mental Health
One major reason to implement mental health services in schools is that they’re a natural setting to offer support. Children and youth spend the majority of their time in school. Because of that, schools play a critical role in supporting students in an environment that is already familiar to them. Clinics can feel awkward and intimidating, but being able to contact a therapist from a computer in a library or quiet classroom can help ease a student’s worries.
Families will have Convenient Access
Providing access to mental health services in schools benefits the families of students as well. Families will feel more comfortable and trusting in accessing support from a natural setting like a school. It can also allow families convenient access to support they may not otherwise get due to financial challenges, transportation challenges, or other reasons. Treatment like therapy becomes more helpful when it isn’t a burden on families and parents juggling so much already.
Positive Impact on Students’ Lives
When students have access to mental health services in schools, it can have a big impact on them. Studies have shown with comprehensive mental health programs in school, students can develop and improve social skills like problem-solving, conflict resolution, and decision-making. Other benefits include:
- Academic success
- Improving leadership skills
- Improving self-awareness
- Enhanced communication among students, families, and schools
- Fulfillments of purpose
- Reduction in drug abuse
- Prevention of suicide
Elimination of Mental Health Stigma
Mental health services in schools can also help to diminish and eliminate the stigma that often follows it. Stigmas often come from a lack of understanding or fear, as well as inaccurate or misleading media representations on the topic. Whether public stigma or self-stigma, these thoughts and ideas can be harmful and create barriers to accessing mental health services.
One of the best ways to reduce stigma is knowing or having contact with someone that is going through mental health challenges. With school-based services, students will be able to see that they aren’t alone in dealing with challenges themselves. When a student sees another peer take part in the mental health services, that will help them understand therapy isn’t a negative thing and allow them to open up about how they feel.
Hardships Don’t Discriminate, and Neither Should Help for Mental Health
While stress and hardships happen to everyone, getting help for mental health isn’t always an option. Offering mental health services in schools allows children and families direct access to assistance and is a great opportunity to increase health equity for all.
At Equity Associates, we are here to your school get the support it needs. We offer two levels of services for schools: mental health diagnostic assessment and planning and network membership. We’re based in Ridgway, Colorado but can help those anywhere in the state. No matter what, we’re always here to support those who need us.