SEL refers to building skills and mindsets necessary for students to thrive in all areas of their life. These competencies include:
- Understanding and managing emotions
- Setting and achieving positive goals
- Felling and showing empathy for others
- Establishing and maintaining positive relationships
- Making responsible decisions
SCHOOL COUNSELORS MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
The work of today’s school counselor is multifaceted and can vary from career development to supporting students who are experiencing emotional and academic challenges. As trained mental health professionals, school counselors strive to build safe, positive, and trusting relationships with their students.
How School Counselors Help
- They are good listeners, and students can talk to them about almost anything, without judgment.
- They strive to maintain confidentiality as much as possible while following their code of ethics, as well as all pertinent federal, state, and school district regulations.
- They help students with anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction.
- They work with students to develop strategies to deal with anger.
- They are a good sounding board for family issues.
- They help students navigate relationship issues.
- They advocate on students’ behalf.
Addressing Worrisome Behaviors
As parents, your role in suicide prevention is crucial. You know your child’s moods and behavior better than anyone else. If certain behaviors concern you, it’s important to take these worries seriously. Here are some guidelines to follow when addressing worrisome behaviors with your child:
- Don’t worry about overacting: Sit with your child and let him or her know about your concerns. (“You said something that worries me.” or “You don’t seem to be yourself lately.
- Be specific about your concerns. (“I’ve noticed you aren’t spending as much time with your friends and you seem annoyed when they call you.” or “You spend hours doing your homework, but every time I check on you, you’re just staring into space.” or “Your teacher called and said you’re failing English because you’re late to class almost every day.”)
- Expect your child to discount your concerns. (“All the kids are having trouble getting homework finished.” or “My friends are annoying.” or “ That teacher fails everybody.”) Explain that you’re not concerned about everybody in the class. You are concerned about your child. Be prepared to offer more than one example; the more evidence you have, the harder it will be for your child to minimize your examples.
- If your child says anything that even hints at thoughts of suicide, ask about it. For example, statements like “Sometimes I’m not sure life is worth living.” or “I just can’t take it much more.” must be explored further! You cannot plant the idea of suicide in your child’s mind by asking about it! In asking about thoughts of suicide, you open up the lines of communication as well as introduce the idea of help-seeking behavior by asking to hear more distressing thoughts.
- Act immediately if you have concerns about suicide. Get your child to a mental health professional as soon as possible for an evaluation. There are several ways to do this: click on the link of local resources.
- Whatever resource you choose, indicated the urgency of the situation. Make sure to use the phrase “at risk for suicide.” (“I’m concerned that my child may be at risk for suicide and I’d like to schedule an evaluation as soon as possible.”) Although the evaluation might determine that your child is not at immediate risk for suicide, this is an assessment you’d like to have made quickly, and it is a decision that is best left to a trained mental health professional.
Click on the link for tips to help reduce test anxiety in children
Click on the link for parenting resources
Click on the link for Mental Wellness Resources