While mental health and social-emotional learning and education for youth and teens has always been a focus for Prepare U, the global pandemic has now created tension between the balance of life for students, teachers, parents, and education administrators. With this, urgent prioritization and focus has been placed on collective social-emotional learning, a new implementation of mental health curricula globally, a new narrative to discuss pandemic-related problems, and further support for both youth and teachers alike.
Before Covid-19 hit, Prepare U led the way in New York in 2018 by hosting the former U.S. Surgeon General, as they not only mandated mental health education but put a vital spotlight on social-emotional learning and go beyond checking the box. Now, apart from social-emotional education, global attention and solutions need to be placed on the enhanced strain on both teens, families, teachers and parents, as well as more support for the collective whole who suffer from the impact of Covid-19 and subsequent depression, fear, trauma, and anxiety.
Everyone’s personal journey - from school counselors, facilitators, teachers and parents to students and teens, has been impacted. From the classroom to the bedroom; from schools to household, the pandemic has affected us all, individually; collectively. This new tension and the unbalancing of life through disruption requires a channel to process experiences, to connect through shared experiences; a narrative to talk about the problem and heal through it.
As the bridge for students and the schools to connect and process, Prepare U, brings connection and the opportunity for everyone affected to tackle the hard topic of struggle, fear, depression, and anxiety. With the dismantling of children’s and teachers’ routines, and less access to basic support structures and tools found in schools, thanks to the pandemic, students’ performances, on average, have dropped, and children’s social and emotional wellbeing have been stretched to the limit, along with that of parents and teachers.
Many young children and teens as well as teachers and parents have experienced extreme adversity over the last few months. Irreparable personal losses, increased deaths, spikes in poverty, hunger, homelessness, family conflicts, food insecurity, a lack of preparation, and the inability to respond appropriately to the pandemic itself, and societal weaknesses have emphasized the importance and value of social-emotional learning, personal narratives, and the communication between the collective to keep mental health and well-being positive and strong.
Failure to put mental health and personal narratives as a priority will, in the long-term, result in improper, or lacking advancements of children's development, which then will undermine the development of a healthy society and of a social capital. However, making social-emotional learning and collective narratives a part of our present will not only allow healthy mental states of school counselors, administrators, teachers, parents, and teens, but it will significantly boost a recovery from the pandemic, as well as rebuild a better education system.
Furthermore, a narrative-based focus on teachers, counselors, and facilitators, will offer a lever to lift both teacher and student up from the traits which have deteriorated during Covid-19 and noting both of these realities and communicating about them will boost the efforts of educators working to help students make up for lost ground.
As we all continue to weather the pandemic storm, and involve ourselves in a new narrative process, we all have the unique opportunity to make the lives and well-being of teachers, school counselors, and parents better, as well as see an enhanced implementation of the whole-child education which further betters the lives of teens and children.
To learn more about how to bring Prepare U to your community, email contact@PrepareU.Live to set up a time for a one-on-one walkthrough.