Lacking Mental Health Training
Despite the fact that a teacher is one of the first lines of defense for mental illness for a student, most do not receive appropriate training to identify and support these needs.
“The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in five children has or will have a severe mental health disorder.” Yet a majority of students suffering from mental illness go undiagnosed, or misdiagnoses as “behavior students” – or students with “run-of-the-mill mis-behavior.”
The mental health status of a student is a big part of a student’s ability to succeed in school, yet these needs are rarely met in a classroom – let alone considered to be a job for the school or teacher. Many teachers and school district faculty view mental health needs as medical, and therefore, not their responsibility. Many are not trained on identification, need or how mental illness affects the entire child.
Our education system in the United States is geared towards the entire child – not simply academics. How a child succeeds or fails in school depends largely on their social emotional and mental health status.