Not about happiness: mental health in schools

Sep 17
Author:Eileen Cai
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Every year schools share the same common goal of improving results and maximising student potential. But apart from the basic literacy, numeracy and science goals, studies have shown that boosting mental health can increase engagement and better test scores.

According to studies conducted by Martin Seligman (former president of the American Psychology Association), the results show that teaching certain cognitive and emotional skills to children around 10 – 11 years old, will lower rates of depression and anxiety later in life. The report by Tes also states that further studies show a direct link where these skills increased well being as well as test scores in schools in Bhutan, Mexico and Peru. Seligman states that it’s not about increasing happiness or smiles but learning about how to be more engaged, improving relationships and having more meaning in life. The good news is that these skills can be taught but will require support from the Government.

In addition to this, Paul Geyer (CEO of Principals Australia Institute) states that “students who are mentally healthy experience fewer emotional, social or behaviour difficulties, and this has positive effects on their schoolwork”. The interview from The Educator states that the positive effects account for an approximate 11% increase in student academic outcomes which confirms that good mental health is essential for good learning.

Attend the Boosting Mental Health & Wellbeing in Schools Conference to learn how to:

  • Implement a holistic wellbeing framework
  • Deliver evidence-based programs
  • Strengthen whole-school approaches
  • Develop strategies for parental engagement

Submitted by Eileen Cai

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