Alexandria, Va. – June 1, 2023 – The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) and the Learning First Alliance (LFA) proudly announce the debut of Mental Health Matters: An Educator Resource Hub. This online resource hub is specifically designed to provide support to the educator community, equipping them with accessible tools and resources to help identify and address student mental health challenges.
In light of the escalating prevalence of mental health issues among students, the Resource Hub arrives at a crucial juncture. “We recognize the need for educators to build a deeper understanding of mental health and adapt to the evolving needs of their students,” said Richard Long, Executive Director of the Learning First Alliance. “With this accessible platform, we aspire to empower educators with knowledge and resources to help them champion student well-being.”
Jill Bohnenkamp, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor at the National Center for School Mental Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine emphasized the pivotal role of schools in addressing students’ mental health needs. “Educators and school staff play a critical role in fostering the mental health and well-being of students,” said Bohnenkamp. “Through our collaboration with Learning First Alliance, we aim to provide educators with tools and guidance to support their students and promote better academic outcomes and mental health and well-being for their entire school community.”
According to the CDC, 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year and nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder; underscoring the urgency of addressing this pressing issue.
LFA will partner with NCSMH to curate monthly blogs authored by leading education practitioners and researchers and featuring links to resources, tools, and ideas pertaining to mental health in schools.
Recognizing the importance of proactive measures, educators can build positive classroom and school environments and mitigate behavioral and mental health challenges within their classrooms with prevention work. By bolstering their awareness of available tools and resources, educators can optimize their ability to address potential mental health crises preemptively.
“We want to emphasize that each school and community is unique,” emphasized Long. “The resources we provide are intended to be adaptable to the specific circumstances of each context. We encourage educators to collaborate with mental health experts in their communities to develop programs tailored to the specific needs of their students.”
Visit Mental Health Matters: An Educator Resource Hub at www.learningfirst.org/mentalhealthhub.
The Learning First Alliance (LFA) is a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. Alliance members include: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; AASA, The School Superintendents Association; American Federation of Teachers; American School Counselor Association; Consortium for School Networking; Learning Forward; National Association of Elementary School Principals; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Education Association; National PTA; National School Boards Association; National School Public Relations Association; and PDK International. Learn more about LFA at www.learningfirst.org.
The mission of the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) is to strengthen policies and programs in school mental health to improve learning and promote success for America’s youth. From its inception in 1995, the Center’s leadership and interdisciplinary staff has promoted the importance of providing mental health services to children, adolescents, and families directly in schools and communities. NCSMH is housed within the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Learn more about NCSMH at www.schoolmentalhealth.org