Being a student is an optimistic, happy, and healthy phase of one’s life. Almost every child and youngster goes through a systematic, structured, and planned lifestyle to prepare for their professional and economically independent lives after studies.
But student life can take a toll on their mental health as they advance to higher academic grades and studies toughen. An unsupportive home environment and an inharmonious relationship with parents, peers, and teachers can jeopardize a student’s mental health. Most young minds also experience emotional turmoil when parents force them to pursue an incompatible academic path or ambition beyond their capacity and affordability.
Nonetheless, academic life is a common stressor for today’s millennials and younger generations than older learners. Thus parents and teachers should not underestimate the signs and symptoms of emotional irregularities and more severe psychological disorders in young adults and children.
The following sections discuss healthy ways to help students improve and maintain their mental health.
- Promote healthy strategies to cope with emotional and psychological ups and downs
Student life can be stressful to the point where young minds pursue harmful ways to cope with unmanageable challenges. Many youngsters fall prey to addictive drugs and smoking to cope with pressure and ambitious expectations from teachers, parents, peers, and other social relationships.
In many cases, the casual use of addictive drugs can turn into addictive behavior, but it further deteriorates their mental wellness and academic performance. However, guidance and counseling at the right time can prevent such consequences. Educational institutes and parents can seek the services of professional psychologists to guide students in academic and personal struggles.
Certified psychologists who opt for specialized school psychology programs online have abundant experience understanding complex situations related to students. These individuals can assist individuals with workable strategies to manage mental health issues in every sphere of their lives, including studies.
Hence, responsible parties should help students adopt healthy ways to cope with emotional and psychological ups and downs. Guide them on how simple strategies like self-awareness, meditation, social connection, and frank conversation with a loved one can help improve mental health and well-being.
- Promote open communication
Youngsters also experience emotional irregularities and mood swings like adults, so they need someone to share their worries. Mental health issues progress and worsen if youngsters keep their concerns to themselves. Young minds can also get influenced by trivial and insignificant issues in the same way as adults. But they fear to share.
They fear adults would misinterpret their concerns than solve their problems. Thus elders should not judge worries and hardships faced by students based on substance and the importance of their challenges. Adults should take the initiative to ask children and youngsters about their emotions and feelings.
Assessment of mental health issues does not require expensive therapy and consultation sessions with a professional psychologist or psychiatrist. A simple question like what bothers you can help students open up about their worries.
Hence, adults must maintain a conducive environment and ensure that they understand, no matter the obscurity and incomprehensible nature of talks.
- Advice on workable strategies for time management
Time management is a universal challenge for students. Almost every student struggles to accommodate exam preparations, assignments, school projects, extracurricular activities, and other social and personal engagements in mere twenty hours.
Adult learners experience more challenges when they attend to professional responsibilities alongside studies. As a result, their minds are overloaded and preoccupied all the time. They keep thinking about their pending tasks and stress out from pressing deadlines. Yet, mental and physical endeavors do not help them sort out pending clutter and relax their minds.
In such cases, teachers, parents, and other guiding figures can help students with workable strategies for time management. They can refer to their experiences and share what works for them. For instance, enlisting assignments, assigning priorities, setting achievable goals, making a routine, and taking needed breaks can help students wind up more quickly than endeavoring clumsily.
- Offer career counseling
Engineering, academia, social science, medicine, and technology are not the only career paths. Thus parents and mentors should not limit choices for students. Success and growth in any career depend upon one’s interest and passion. Youngsters cannot succeed in highly acclaimed, popular, and lucrative professions if career directions are poles apart from their interests.
Even if they’re educated, they will stumble at later stages of their journey. Thus teachers, parents, and school administration should offer career counseling. Schools and parents should coordinate with students to identify their strengths and interests. Help them choose career paths compatible with their nature, interest, and aptitude.
They should encourage and facilitate them for other less trodden career paths like performing arts, painting, psychology, veterinary, irrigation, flavor chemistry, and excavation if they are not good with mainstream subjects.
More importantly, parents and teachers should not impose or endorse personal preferences on students. Do not ignore their opinions on their future independent life.
- Discourage needless comparison
Young minds learn from their surroundings, elders, parents, and teachers. Until they can differentiate between right and wrong, they take elders as their references for acceptable conduct, social values, and customs. Unfortunately, adults can also endorse destructive traits of social comparison through their actions and behaviors.
Children adopt it as a norm and compare themselves with their peers and friends based on grades, looks, talents, social status, and popularity. Unguarded exposure to social media platforms has further increased their hardships. Now, well-off celebrities and social media influencers further expand their list of competitors.
But the comparison trap is destructive to their mental and emotional health. It also threatens their self-esteem and confidence. Thus teachers and parents should guide and educate young minds on the side effects of needless social comparison.
Adults should help them identify and appreciate their unique talents and strengths. Remind them of their struggles and success stories, such as how they managed to finish their assignments on time and achieved satisfactory results. Help them choose a different parameter to gauge their success and failure, such as self-improvement over time.
- Provide professional assistance
Anxiety, depression, hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and other mental health issues are not only specific to older populations. Children and youngsters can also develop these health issues.
If students can access needed help on mental health problems, they will not end up in hospitals and rehabilitation centers with severe complications. As a result, they perform poorly in studies and social engagements. Thus professional and authentic psychological services are as essential in an academic institute as in healthcare facilities.
Hence, schools should recruit professional psychologists and counselors to guide students in day-to-day challenges. They should help them identify stressors and cope with mental health problems healthily. If counseling does not yield positive results, the school administration should encourage parents to a systematic therapy procedure.
Mental health issues are not common in the older population strata alone. Kids and youngsters can also experience such challenges. Their signs and symptoms may differ, but mental health issues are disturbing and overwhelming for young learners’ well-being, social life, and academic performance. Hence, parents should observe their unhealthy behavior and assist them as needed.