Support for a student might include providing the student with additional counseling time with a member of the school health and safety team, steering a student to a staff-facilitated support group meeting with peers and assigning students whom are new to a school with a student ambassador or 'buddy'. When possible make services such as tutoring and mentoring available within the school setting. This may be provided by the school system or by trained persons invited into the school. Because there will always be a level of service that is unrealistic to provide within the school, having facilitated linkages to specialized services in the community is essential.
School programs and services that address mental health and psychosocial concerns are frequently not adequately integrated into schools' daily instructional efforts. Yet mental health promotion can be integrated successfully into many school programs. During daily classroom instruction and other school activities, students can be taught that both appropriate and inappropriate behaviors can stem from one's feelings. Once students understand this, many will be more likely to use introspection and subsequent verbalization strategies as substitutes to acting out or withdrawal. They may be more likely to seek help when they are troubled. Provide staff development so that staff members understand how to support students in this manner. Staff development in the area of developmental psychology will help staff form expectations of students that are appropriately adjusted to students' developmental stages. Integration can be improved by having members of the counseling, psychological, health, and social services staff communicate with classroom teachers and recess monitors, observe students during instruction and recreation, and assist staff with how they can respond to individual students and with the class as a whole. Such integration should be specified in the district's guiding principles (e.g., vision statement, policy statement, or school improvement plan). Staff need to recognize that they are role models for students at school.
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