Focusing on mental health to improve learner outcomes and retention

7 Nov 2019 04:05 PM

In recent years, there’s been continued focus and press attention about young peoples’ mental health, putting it at the forefront of the minds of educators. With Mental Health Awareness Day taking place only last month, the topic continues to gather momentum.

With reports of an increasing numbers of students dropping out of higher education due to mental health, it’s important that students are supported as early as possible in their educational journey to improve learner outcomes and retention, and to help students achieve their future goals.

Did you know that 2 in 3 people report having experienced a mental health problem in their lifetime?

So, what can you do to help your learners?

It’s important to be able to recognise the signs of someone who may be suffering from poor mental health. Not everyone has the same symptoms and it’s not always an easy thing to talk about, which makes being able to spot some of the potential signs even more important.

The Mental Health Foundation offers guidance on recognising the signs of some of the most common mental health problems, and how to respond.

There are also lots of resources available to support those in teaching positions to support their learners who may be experiencing a mental health problem, whether that’s providing resources, directing learners to specialist organisations or embedding resources into teaching.

We’ve listed some of these useful resources below.

By raising awareness and removing the stigma associated with mental health, as well as learning how to help those with mental health issues, we can move forward with a more supportive learning culture to ensure learners feel supported and are able to continue in education to reach their full potential.