The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause stress, affect emotional well-being and intensify mental health needs. The Protecting Youth Mental Health: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory identified that mental health needs in young people continue to rise with symptoms of anxiety and depression doubled during the pandemic. Though increases in distress symptoms are common during disasters, most people cope well and do not go on to develop mental health disorders. Resiliency can be learned and developed, especially with home, school and community supports, which will help people do hard things later in life.
For students, these mental health needs can go unsupported and lead to behaviors that are inconsistent with school expectations. It is important students and staff know that it is okay to ask for help and be ready to respond to those who need additional support. Providing school-based mental health supports and safe learning environments help students improve their overall well-being, allowing them to thrive.
Ohio’s educators and students have shown an incredible amount of resilience despite ongoing changes and concerns. For this reason, the Department created Supporting School Wellness Toolkits to provide teachers, administrators, students, families and communities with support to assist in responding to challenges amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The links below provide a collection of resources and recommendations, organized by audience type, to address current student and staff wellness challenges.