he Atlantic published a three-part series in October 2016 examining the relationship between education and mental health. Elementary as well as college-aged students were considered. The findings concluded:
- Today’s college students seek campus counseling services more often than any other generation in the modern history of the United States. Most of those who report mental-health challenges cite anxiety and depression as their top concerns.
- The majority of the nation’s youngest students don’t have access to mental-health resources at school. Only 23% of prekindergarten programs have on-site or scheduled visits from psychiatrists or psychologists, according to the Child Mind Institute’s 2016 Children’s Mental Health Report. The current shortage of mental-health professionals, which is expected to continue, only exacerbates the problem.
- Teachers are often the first person children turn to when they are in crisis, and yet they are, as a profession, woefully unprepared to identify students’ mental-health issues and connect them with the services they need—even when those services are provided by schools.
You can read the first Atlantic piece about mental health in early education here, the second on the lack of teacher training to address mental-health issues here, and the third on the surge in mental health needs during college, here.