Are you a teacher, or teaching assistant and feel frequently concerned about the emotional well-being of your pupils? The Princes Trust (2012) reported that 30% of young people stated that they felt ‘always’ or ‘often’ down or depressed. But the problem for teachers is that it can be difficult to spot. There are ways to tell the difference between normal ups and downs and the beginnings of a more serious emotional health problem.
Things you may notice in a pupil who is experiencing some emotional difficulties:
- Complaints of feeling ill or sick
- Missing school frequently
- Over tired, a lack of sleep and sleeping in class
- Lack of confidence and decreased participation in class and extracurricular activities
- Withdrawing or avoiding seeing their friends and spending time with them at break times
- Consistently defiant attitude towards you and other teachers
- Failing to complete homework, or doing so poorly
- Working slowly
- Being quick to express emotions through crying or anger, or, in contrast, losing all affect and unresponsive in class
- Frequently making self-deprecating and pessimistic comments
- An obsession with morbidity
- Changes in personality and friendship groups
- Unusually sulky and moody
- Takes risks by acting out through theft, drug and alcohol abuse, or unsafe sexual activity
- Keeping arms covered up which leaves you feeling suspicious of self-harm
- Clingy or hanging around after class to talk to you
The first thing you should do is to find an opportunity to talk to them and try to find out if there is something troubling them or causing a problem. Do not trivialise what they tell you, it may not be a big deal to you, but it could be a major problem for them.
If they have revealed to you that they are feeling low, stressed or anxious, help is out there. You do not have to feel like you have to hold all the responsibility for the pupil and their emotional wellbeing.
Trained and experienced staff are out there to help and support you with the pupil. We at the AOC will offer the child the time to explore their feelings and make sense of what is going on for them in a safe space.
Evidence shows that effective early intervention such as counselling, therapy and family therapy can help reduce psychological distress, impact positively on learning, improve attainment, attendance and behaviour (Pybis et al., 2012).
We can also give you weekly updates on how the child is progressing in counselling and therapy and provide you with a tailored treatment plan that will help you and the pupil longer term.
For more information, please contact us on the details below.
Telephone: 0333 772 9636
Mobile: 07568 568131
Skype: Username: TheAOCCounselling, Telephone No: 0121 364 2931