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· Volume II Issue IV

Mental health is a state of psychological and emotional condition in which weakness and disorders relating to the mind are 'in absentia'. Ensuring sound mental health will help the learners become resilient amidst adversities as well as value their qualities and abilities. Many take their mental health for granted not knowing that it is equally important to physical health. A healthy body prepares the learners for their day-to-day activities but without a healthy mind, they will not be able to achieve their full potential and aspiration. The state of their mental health affects their ability in exchanging information necessary in strengthening relationships at home, school, and community. 

The pandemic continues to impact the lives of learners up to this day. Closures of schools, establishments, and recreational areas have contributed to increasing the rate of mental health problems among learners. The sudden disruption of the norm has also affected everyone including the parents, educators, and policymakers. Now, more than ever, all sectors have to work hand in hand in providing support and services that will ensure the sound minds of the learners of this generation. 

6 Ways to Support Learners’ Mental Health

1. The school administration should provide carefully selected school materials that will not overwhelm the learners, home facilitators, and school staff. Excessive school materials will not only decrease the learning curve but also put the learners at risk of depression. Homeschooling is a type of education that is uncommon to most people. It is a nontraditional approach, thus, it is important not to overload both the learners and facilitators with too much information while they're adapting to this new environment. 

2. Avoid negative strategies and techniques that can lead to depression among learners. Parents as home facilitators and school staff should not use punishment, disparagement, passive-aggression, and other negative approaches that can harm the mental health of learners. It will only lead the learners to develop self-doubt and hinder them in accessing their resources. Keep the learners engaged and motivated by developing or adding creative content. Also, reward the learners for engagement to let them know that their efforts are appreciated. 

3. Depression is the most common mental health disorder among learners. It is a severe aversion that can be caused by a lack of recognition and success. As facilitators of learning, parents, and teachers can work together in organizing experiences and activities that provide learners more opportunities for success. Learners need to believe that they can do their tasks successfully and efficiently.

4. Cautiously recognize the learners who are at risk from suffering mental health disorders. Oftentimes, the learners who are at risk do not show obvious signs but there are symptoms that faculties can check while interacting with the learners. Disorientation, anxiety, panic, sadness, and even heightened elation are the most common symptoms that indicate a mental health issue. Learners who are showing these symptoms should be monitored closely and regularly. 

5. Learners who are suffering from depression and other mental health issues should have access to urgent support both from school administration and external agencies. An established protocol should be clear to all learners, parents, and facilitators for the support to be accessed and received quickly when the need arises. A direct communication line between a school counselor or psychologist and the learner suffering from depression should be opened at all times. For severe cases, a counselor or psychologist can work with the facilitator and parent in regularly monitoring the condition of the learner. 

6. School facilitators and counselors should receive guidance and supervision with regards to aiding learners suffering from a mental health issue. The monitoring and mentoring should be done by a mental health professional who specializes specifically in this area of healthcare.