School Strategies For Students Experiencing PTSD

Health and well-being are one of the primary concerns of every human. Our body functions and daily tasks depend on our health and the energy we have to complete a task. A slight rise in our body temperature makes us feel lethargic, and we cannot think or work like we usually do.

The human body has a shield against diseases that fights many diseases and pathogens. However, it does not guarantee that we cannot fall ill. When we talk about health, it entails the physical aspect and encompasses the social, mental, and emotional factors. 

We can freely talk about our physical health, but we think a thousand times to talk about our mental health.

Mental health plays a substantial role in our well-being. We cannot ignore our minds and focus on our bodies when both share a strong connection. Our mind and body functions share a synchronized pathway, and a disturbance in one organ affects the other.

Adults are not the only ones prone to mental health issues or traumas, but children suffer from them the most. School-going children face different traumas in the form of bullies, parents’ separation, or even loss of a pet can impact their emotional health. 

Children, adolescents, or teens studying or going to school are often suffering from trauma. PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder refers to emotional turmoil or reactions resulting from a stressful or traumatizing event.

A study says that 60% of US adults experience abuse or other difficult family situations in their childhood. On the other hand, 26% of children are prone to witnessing or undergoing a traumatic event before turning four. 

Teachers and school counselors can play a substantial role in helping children with PTSD. This article entails some of these effective strategies to help these children out. 

 School Counselors 

The emotional and physical well-being of students has a significant impact on their academic performance. Children with PTSD may face difficulty in keeping up with their academics.

In such scenarios, crisis counseling can help them overcome the roadblocks with school counselors’ assistance and supervision. School counselors can help the students to identify the trigger stimulating a negative response in them.

Counselors can pick signs beyond behaviors and can collaborate with teachers to help the kid feel better. Students with PTSD are often passive and might not participate in academic activities. Communicating with school counselors about such students can help them develop a plan to minimize triggers and reactions. 

Working with PTSD-diagnosed students require self-care and behavior plans, and it also involves trigger management.

A classroom teacher gets to spend most of their time with students instead of the student counselor. Teachers can provide resourceful information to counselors regarding students’ behavior and other roadblocks for a better counseling plan. 

Building positive relationships

Students or kids suffer from trauma, face difficulty in building new relations like friendship or interaction with a new person. Students with PTSD may already struggle with toxic relationships at home.

These students often stay quiet or aloof and do not mingle much. School faculty and teachers can help these students build positive relationships with their peers by engaging them in group activities. Making such students feel safe and accepted can help them develop self-esteem and develop social intelligence.

Teachers are the best mediators for these children in creating healthy and positive social relationships. Building a trustworthy relationship with such students can help them open up about troubling emotions. A teacher can help them find a better solution. 

Encouraging classroom participation

Kids suffering from trauma often believe that bad things happen to them because nothing in their life is working right.

These children face challenges in the study, reduced attention span, and even focusing on their daily chores. Instead of letting these kids sit in a corner, getting them involved in-class activities can help them see the silver lining.

Entrusting them with little classroom chores and encouraging them for class participation can eliminate the negative thinking off of their minds.

Students or kids with PTSD can get triggered easily, and they may stay agitated or restless in the classroom. Getting them involved in activities to channelize their emotions can be an outlet for releasing troubling emotions. 

Easing transition

We all have different triggers, and kids with trauma are often not aware of it. A loud-voiced instruction from a teacher can trigger negative emotions in them. Any sudden change in a classroom activity can induce panic or anxiety in kids with PTSD.

One of the best strategies that a teacher can adopt for such students is ease during class transitions. Instead of making switches directly, giving them a heads up like minutes to go before we make a group switch. Or giving them guided instruction can help these kids with smooth and swift transitions. 

Being there

Many students and young kids suffer from trauma. Coming to school might escape them from the negative emotions and environment. Instead of getting them all involved in studies and academics, let these students know that you are there to listen to whatever they have to share.

Letting them know that you are available outside the class activities and lend them an ear to vent out will help them build a trustworthy relationship with the teacher. 

Conclusion

Teachers play a tremendous role in our lives. No matter where we are or what we have become, we always remember that one teacher helped us grow emotionally.

Other than the family, kids feel closer to their teachers as they spend most of their time with them. Teachers can be their guides, friends, and a confidante. Kids are more prone to emotional turmoil or trauma as they are unaware of handling their troubling emotions.

School management can devise strategies and train their faculty to help the children heal emotionally and facilitate them as much as they can.

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