May is Mental Health Month and throughout the month people and organizations have been vocal about the importance of bringing awareness to such an important topic. While it is great to have a month dedicated to the topic, it is critical we, in education, realize the conversation cannot end with the last day of the month but must be ongoing throughout the year. Mental health issues in students are not going away and recent statistics lead us to conclude they are only increasing.
Last summer the Center for Disease Control released a report on the rate of suicide attempts in teens for 2017. The data was broken down by states and while the overall national average for teens reporting a suicide attempt was 7%, the rate in Texas was 12% (link to article). Teens consistently report not only high levels of stress but also anxiety and depression. It is only through education and awareness, we can help students get the assistance needed.
Round Rock ISD staff has many opportunities this summer during SummeRR Camp to learn and discuss how they can support students with mental health issues. The most in-depth opportunity is through an eight-hour course titled Mental Health First Aid (open sessions link). Space is limited so sign up in Eduphoria to guarantee your spot. In addition, numerous courses are being taught throughout the four days and specific courses can be found in Sched (link).
Through education and awareness, we will not only reduce the stigma associated with mental health, but we also have the ability to save lives.