Commencing a Counselling course or pursing advanced study in counselling, youth work, or mental health provides teachers with concrete and evidence-based techniques to assist their students.
What are the benefits to teachers?
Specialised training in conflict management and interpersonal skills serves to strengthen self-awareness, leadership, and people skills. Even among educators whose primary goal is to continue classroom teaching, having additional training in mental health intervention helps them handle daily classroom situations more effectively and improves the learning experience of all students.
As a teacher, you have a unique relationship with the young people in your community. Along with instructor, you likely find yourself filling several roles- disciplinarian, mentor, motivator, and confidant. Teachers are often the first adults to notice changes in a student’s behavior, or to see signs of emotional difficulties. Yet, most teachers feel ill-equipped to handle the variety of psychosocial challenges their students are facing.
When children are in distress, they look to trusted adults in their lives for help. That trusted adult is often their teacher. Classroom teachers know how to provide support and structure, but most lack training in specific techniques to address more serious mental health challenges.
What does the research say?:
Recent research suggests that mental health issues are a growing concern among school children. One in five children suffer from a severe mental disorder. Half of these students will eventually drop out of school. Up to two-thirds of children report they worry “all the time.” Top worries include concerns about family, friends, and school performance.
Perhaps this is a familiar story to you: you’ve assigned the class an essay about how they spent their school holiday. While the purpose of the assignment is to assess writing skills, you find yourself reading a detailed account of a traumatic incident one of your students experienced. How do you respond? Do you feel prepared and qualified to offer the support and assistance he or she needs?
If you don’t feel prepared, you are not alone. A 2011 study by the American Psychological Association found that only 34% of teachers believe they have the skills to meet the mental health needs of their students. More and more, teachers are finding that additional formal training in mental health topics is beneficial, or even crucial, to their career.
Study a Counselling Course at the IKON Institute
The IKON Institute offers several diplomas and degree programs that are well suited to the working teacher. Our Diploma of Counselling provides theoretical and practical skills with just one day per week of classroom training. Our Dual Diploma of Youth Work and Youth Justice provides specialised training in empowering young people to develop positive skills and attitudes, reduce risky behaviour, and make positive changes.
Balancing the learning, social, behavioural, and emotional needs of your students makes teaching one of the most demanding professions. It challenges us to constantly develop better ways to care for ourselves and others. Contact IKON today to discover opportunities to strengthen your personal and professional development and transform your career.
 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-disorder-among-children.shtml |  http://www.bbc.com/news/education-38861155 http://www.academia.edu/1491432/Supporting_childrens_mental_health_in_schools_Teacher_perceptions_of_needs_roles_and_barriers