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Ed Tech Is Critical to Addressing the Student Mental Health Crisis

This article is written by Gary Pettengell and appears in THE Journal (“Technological Horizons in Education”). You can read the full article here.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an urgent advisory: “The pandemic era’s unfathomable number of deaths, pervasive sense of fear, economic instability, and forced physical distancing from loved ones, friends, and communities have exacerbated the unprecedented stresses young people already faced.”

While our day-to-day lives have mostly returned to normal since Murthy’s warning, student mental health outcomes have continued to decline.

ECINS’ State of Mental Health in Today’s Schools survey, which gathered input from more than 350 school social workers, teachers, counselors, administrators, and district leaders, found that 85% of respondents agree or strongly agree that students are more stressed and anxious than in previous school years, undermining everything from personal well-being to academic achievement.

These findings align with other academic studies, including findings from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), which reported a 70% increase in students seeking mental health services since the start of the pandemic, noting that 80% of public schools “have seen stunted behavioral and socioemotional development in their students.”

They also provide critical context to K–12 schools experiencing declines in math and reading test scores and recent CDC data indicating that teenage girls are reporting increasing mental health challenges, experiences of violence, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the past year.

Students’ unique mental health challenges require all stakeholders to work closely and collaboratively to help all students thrive physically, emotionally, and academically. With school social workers, teachers, counselors, and administrators already working exceptionally hard to support their students, ed tech solutions will play an important role in helping schools meet students where they are, providing effective solutions that enable impact at scale.

How Ed Tech Can Help

Ed tech can play a crucial role in helping schools address the student mental health crisis. By leveraging technology, schools can create a more supportive and effective environment for students.

Read the full article here >


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