High school mental health issues are high on educators: Morgan Stanley survey

American educators are not only concerned about the physical health of their students this new school year, but also about their mental health, according to a new survey by Morgan Stanley.

This investigation is part of the Morgan Stanley Children’s Mental Health Alliance, a multi-faceted re-emergence program aimed at providing support and resources to families and educators to address key mental health issues for the year. school to come.

The survey found that 4 in 10 American high school educators expect students with mental health issues to return with exacerbated conditions. This represents the third most critical challenge for impacting the quality of student learning this school year, behind student learning deficits (47%) and economic hardship (42%).

“Mental health was really becoming one of the critical sources of death and illness in children and obviously in so many ways preventable and treatable, but it just wasn’t being paid attention,” said Joan Steinberg, president of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and CEO of the Alliance Advisory Board. She tells Yahoo Finance that the re-emergence will be a huge problem for students entering the 2021-2022 school year.

“The young people were sort of locked up for a year and a half. They’ve had less social interaction and all of a sudden they’re going to be kind of pushed back. And while everyone was so excited to reopen the school… they ignored the fact that many of these kids might have social anxiety about coming back.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Steinberg has noted that educators have been urged to support students academically “while providing emotional, social and behavioral support during this difficult time.”

Students wear masks during class to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Santa Fe South High School where masks are mandatory, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, September 1, 2021. REUTERS / Nick Oxford

Learning loss is also something that educators believe will affect the mental health of their students. “There is also increased pressure on [students] to try to catch up. So they have the traditional pressures of school, the pressures of returning to full classrooms, whatever their concerns from a physical point of view, ”she added.

“Then they have a year and a half of learning to try to catch up, and especially for teenagers, if they apply to college there was already so much stress and anxiety around those times. . Now you have all of these extra things, so I just think there’s a lot going on in what’s going to happen at the start of the school year, ”she added.

Steinberg points out that a silver lining is that many students have started talking about their mental health issues. The survey also reveals that 50% of educators say their schools are fully prepared to deal with these re-emergence issues.

Based on the survey results, the Alliance made eight recommendations for high schools:

  1. Prepare for a different educational landscape.

  2. Expect and respond to emotional, social, and mental health needs to assess and meet student readiness and support needs.

  3. Equip staff to functionally and positively notice and respond to mental health needs.

  4. Create spaces and opportunities for young people to process and understand their experience.

  5. Focus on strengthening connectivity.

  6. Connect with parents as early as possible in the school year.

  7. Prepare for an increased need for social support programs.

  8. Support staff needs

Methodology: Morgan Stanley asked Fluent Research to survey 552 high school teachers in the United States online from June 12 to July 8, 2021. Educators included 322 high school teachers, 134 high school counselors, social workers and nurses, and 96 district and high school schools. administrators (superintendents and directors).

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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