Thursday, February 25, 2010

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day: May 6, 2010

"An estimated 4.5 to 6.3 million children and youth in the United States face mental health challenges. About two thirds do not receive needed mental health services due to the high costs and limited availability of services in many communities. Families are challenged
with obtaining services, and youth are left at risk for difficulties in school and/or the community." -SAMHSA

The following information is from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) is a day for everyone to promote positive youth development, resilience, recovery, and the transformation of mental health services delivery for children and youth with serious mental health needs and their families. Awareness Day raises awareness of effective programs for children's mental health needs; demonstrates how children's mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, recovery, and resilience; and shows how children with mental health needs thrive in their communities.

On Thursday, May 6, 2010, Awareness Day will mark its 5th anniversary, as well as a first-time focus on the topic of early childhood. Communities across the country will observe the day with events, youth demonstrations, and social networking campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and increase understanding of the mental health needs of children and their families.

Awareness Day efforts will encourage the following actions:

  • Integrate mental health into every environment that impacts child development from birth
  • Nurture the social and emotional well-being of children from birth
  • Look for and discuss milestones of a child's social and emotional development from birth.
The following publication provides information about ways systems of care can improve situations for youth who experience mental health difficulties.  Students who receive appropriate support have a lower rate of repeating a grade in school or dropping out of school. Suicide attempts decrease, and emotional and behavioral functioning improves. Students who receive support also show an improvement in attendance and grades. Youth who are at the highest level of academic risk make strong gains.


The SAMHSA website has a wealth of information and statistics regarding mental health, children, and youth.

There are plenty of ways to prevent serious emotional-behavioral problems from increasing.
Maurice Elias, the director of the Social-Emotional Learning Lab at Rutgers, has quite a bit to say about this topic and how schools can help.  He shares his wisdom via his blog on the Edutopia website.  Here are links to some of his posts:

Giving Visibility to Students with Emotional-Behavioral Challenges
Advocating for Social and Emotional Learning at Your School
Use Music to Develop Kids' Skills and Character

School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Programs (pdf)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Motivating Teens: Wi-Fi enabled school buses facilitate homework completion and reduce behavior problems on the bus!


Wi-Fi Turns Rowdy Bus Into Rolling Study Hall
Sam Dillon, New York Times, 2/11/10

"On buses equipped with Wi-Fi in Vail, Ariz., officials say more homework is getting done, and there's less rowdy behavior... The router cost $200, and came with a $60 a month Internet service contract."

Be sure to read the recommended comments related to the article.  It will provide you with a range of opinions regarding teens, family life, education, the role of technology in society, etc.

-New York Times

Teach Paperless Blog "Seeking social solutions to the mysteries of 21st century teaching" teaching"

I posted this on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog last week:

Here is a good blog for educators interested in using technology to transform education:
Teach Paperless "Seeking social solutions to the mysteries of 21st century teaching"(Shelly Blake-Plock, author)

I especially liked this post:
Top Eleven Things All Teachers Must Know About Technology

"The objective of TeachPaperless is to help classroom teachers merge Green Thinking and Interactive Technology into their everyday classroom experience. The result is a classroom that not only only uses zero paper, but that recognizes and utilizes the best features of the growing Internet to extend learning opportunities to students. Furthermore, we want to see students benefit from and gain experience in real-life problem solving, task determination, and creative thinking through total immersion in an authentic 21st century digital workspace."

Sunday, February 07, 2010

List of links to useful articles from the National Association of School Psychologists, published in Principal Leadership.

Below is a list of links to articles and resources developed by members of the  National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), published in Principal Leadership. The articles touch on a range of topics related to the K-12 years.
"NASP contributes a monthly column to Principal Leadership, the flagship magazine of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Columns are written by NASP members and address issues relevant to adolescent mental health and academic achievement in the context of what a middle or high school principal needs to know. The column, “Pupil Services” (formally titled “Counseling 101”) received the Golden Lamp Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Publishing from the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) in both 2004 and 2005. Also available on this page are corresponding NASP handouts for parents and teachers on most topics."  
(Note: Most links are to pdf files)
Copyright and reprint inquiries should be directed to the National Association of Secondary School Principals.