It can be hard to look at the news these days, with unprecedented levels of shootings, domestic and local violence, cyberbullying, childhood depression and anxiety, and teen suicide. Whether or not a student already has a diagnosis, parents can’t help but be concerned with how their children are faring. Where will they go when they see signs of trouble?
Nationwide, research shows that student mental health problems were already escalating before the COVID crisis. The pandemic took it to a whole new level as students, with students of all ages suffering from disconnection, economic consequences of job loss, family illness and loss of life, and overall unpredictability. Students are increasingly feeling alone or disturbed, often with no safety valve for their feelings.
Filling Mental Healthcare Gaps Under Pandemic Restrictions
Communities have long relied on schools to provide an array of supports for children with extra needs, including learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and emotional and mental health difficulties. Unfortunately, schools now face limited funding, staffing shortages, and sometimes sparse or hard-to- access local resources. Pandemic lockdowns and restrictions have heightened the problem, literally shuttering the doors to parents and students who would have previously relied on brick-and-mortar schools and clinics for help.
Teletherapy Brings Extra Resources to School Communities
The last few years have challenged us to find alternative and supplemental therapeutic solutions for today’s environment. Online teletherapy, where the child, the parent (if recommended), and the therapist interact online, checks all the boxes. All that’s needed is a computer or mobile device, a webcam (included in most computers), an optional headset or earbuds, and high-speed broadband internet.
The Benefits of Teletherapy for Students and Their Families
While pandemic constraints were the catalyst for teletherapy, it has broader benefits—even when school is in session. For example, consider its value for children being home-schooled or those with severe physical disabilities.
Other Benefits of teletherapy include:
Therapy is available when school is not in session, such as during vacations.
No traveling is required, creating more flexible scheduling and less stress for caregivers.
Students are at ease with technology and online communication.
Some students may be more comfortable receiving therapy in a familiar environment.
In-home service with built-in cybersecurity technology ensures privacy and discretion.
The Teletherapy Solution May Be Right for Your School
Schools looking for additional mental health resources should consider the benefits of teletherapy—whether or not school is in session. As an alternative or supplemental resource, teletherapy has been proven to provide critical resources for students in need. teletherapy services, like those available as part of the HELPme solution by STOPit, can provide reliable support when your students need it.