Mental Health at BCE

 What is Mental Health for an Elementary-aged Student? Mental health can be defined as one's emotional and social well-being; it impacts how someone thinks, acts, and how they feel about themselves and others. Mental health problems can affect a student's energy level, concentration, dependability, mental ability, and optimism, hindering performance. Mentally healthy students are more likely to go to school ready to learn, actively engage in school activities, have supportive and caring connections with adults and young people, use appropriate problem-solving skills, have nonaggressive behaviors, and add to positive school culture. 

Why is social/emotional health important in Elementary aged children?

Childhood is supposed to be a time for health, happiness, and positivity. A child’s mental health directly impacts their physical well-being, their social relationships, and their ability to experience academic success. The Elementary years are a critical stage of life for mental health as the child experiences rapid brain growth and development. During this time, children are acquiring cognitive and social-emotional skills that will shape their future mental health and success in society. 

What is Mental Health for an Elementary-aged Student?    

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, “Being mentally healthy during childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems.” It includes a child’s strengths and weaknesses in developing and coping that exist on a continuum.

Being mentally healthy not only means that children have a positive quality of life, it allows them to be meaningful contributors in their home, school, and community environments. Disruptions to an elementary-aged child’s mental health could negatively impact their classroom learning and social interactions, both of which are critical to their success. Additionally, mental health has a complex interactive relationship with one’s physical health; both affect how one thinks, feels, and acts, both internally and externally

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an educational concept that helps kids gain skills in important areas beyond math, reading, and other core school subjects. SEL helps kids identify their feelings, understand and communicate with others, build strong relationships, and make good, empathetic decisions.