Supporting Children and Youth with Mental Health Challenges

109 Learners | 109 Completed Lessons | 27 Hours of Learning Time

Learning Activity

Mental health advocacy generally consists of actions aimed at changing the major structures and attitudes that act as a barrier for persons with mental disorders and with the goal of reducing stigma and discrimination. Within a school setting, there are four long-term strategies for providing support and advocacy for students with mental health challenges:

  1. Actively encouraging policy makers (e.g., school board members, legislators, and advocacy groups) to develop and enact policies that are based on sound research, defendable theory, and good implementation science.
  2. Providing policy implementers with feedback on how well their efforts are enabling stakeholders’ effectively support children and youth with mental health challenges.
  3. Providing supportive feedback and encouragement to professionals who provide direct support to children and youth with mental health challenges.
  4. Being active in directly using and modeling the use of effective practices with children and youth with mental health challenges.

In addition to advocacy, all of us can do things daily that contribute to positively supporting children and youth with mental health challenges. The routine practices that we should engage in to support these students includes (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports):

  • Actively monitor, supervise, and improve the quality of settings in which we live, move through, and work;
  • Regularly and overtly acknowledge and recognize the efforts of others (colleagues, students, family members, etc.);
  • Preventively rearrange for success those settings that have a history of promoting behavioral challenges;
  • Provide preventive supports to children and youth before they enter challenging social and learning environments; and
  • Increase our positive, supportive, and preventive engagements with children and youth with mental health challenges, rather than decrease them.

Resources

Advancing Mental Health & Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) 

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