MindShift Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative
Providing students with access to experts who can provide better ways to cope with difficult events is an effective strategy for teaching students to cope with what they experienced and fix their mindsets to grow personally and emotionally. It was realized years ago that schools need to turn the page on punitive disciplinary methods for students who have experienced trauma and mental health conditions in their lives, and use a more proactive approach to providing support.
As humans, we face trauma all of the time in daily lives. Whether it’s learning of a loved one’s diagnosis of a serious illness or pain in the family, experiencing homelessness, job loss, financial difficulties, threats to our families, or societal bullying, it is natural that we have difficulty coping. In places that respond with a heavy hand and harsh discipline, students are unconsciously facing greater odds of suffering. For example, a school that allows parents to let a child know they are concerned about them is much less likely to react harshly. In fact, relationships and relationships with family and peers are so crucial that schools need to understand that when they punish students, they are negatively impacting how the community reacts.
With this in mind, our new MindShift Trauma-Informed Schools initiative is working to help schools understand the role trauma has on students and their ability to cope with difficult situations and learn from these situations. Kids go through some of the hardest experiences in their lives and they deal with these challenging experiences differently. Trauma is one of those experiences that affects how students go about everyday life. It causes them to suffer symptoms in many different ways:
Post traumatic stress disorder
Athletic involvement, eg, crying, or problem behaviors
Tendency toward avoidance
Difficulty sitting still and concentrating
As a result, many students don’t feel a need to learn and eventually drop out. School leaders need to focus on educating students on how to cope with their hard experiences, instead of punishing them and punishing them for bad behavior. When this is done right, more students are engaged in school, learning more and experiencing more motivation to want to learn. Students that don’t engage in school will have a hard time learning because the changes they are going through will keep them from actively learning.
When schools fail to understand trauma and the effects of it, students don’t get the support they need to thrive and schools become the ones that are failing students. Trauma, in so many ways, creates students that are unprepared for life and simply feel lost. In many cases, they are more frustrated and generally feel more out of place than ever before. Schools need to provide students with counselors, therapists, social workers, and other professionals who can assess students’ mental health and trauma and provide students with the support they need so they can flourish as people.
For more details on the MindShift initiative, check out the full report HERE: https://multimedia.psychore…