Improving Student Health and Wellness through AdvocacyDulwich College BeijingMay 17-18, 2019
A 2-day training workshop for international school counselors
Growing concern about child and adolescent mental health can be observed in education systems around the world, and the critical role of the school in supporting and safeguarding children from emotional, psychological, and physical harm is now widely recognized at the international level. China's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports suicide as the top cause of death among Chinese youth, with at least 500 school children deaths each year*. Mental health issues and family problems are also often the root causes of poor academic performance, behavioral issues, and truancy.
As a result, it has become commonplace for international and local schools to directly provide onsite counseling services. Research shows that these services lead to significant, improved outcomes for children in terms of academic performance**. School counselors and psychologists address a wide range of needs in the school community, such as low self-esteem, difficulty coping with pressure, time management issues, social communication difficulties, peer conflicts, and family relationship difficulties. They also provide support for more serious issues, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidal ideation, addiction/substance abuse, neglect, and abuse. Through accessto specialized, integrated counseling services at school, children are (i) kept safe, (ii) able to learn skills for resilience, and (iii) given the opportunity to reach their full academic potential.
However, improving student health and wellness is everybody's responsibility - counselors, teachers, principals, support staff, parents, and children themselves all have a fundamental role to play. Creating a culture of healthy habits requires the school community to be educated on this topic and empowered to address needs when they arise. This 'deep dive' training workshop therefore seeks to build the skills of school counselors so that they can:
- Educate, empower, and motivate the school community to take preventive action so that fewer children suffer now and as adults.
- Offer clear, practical guidance to others connected to the child, on how they themselves can safely address needs and crises when they arise.
*South China Morning Post (2014). 'School pressure to blame for Chinese youth suicides, official study finds'. Link: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1512032/sch...
**Richardson, T. et al. (2012). School-based adolescent mental health programs. Social Work Today, (Vol.12), No. 6, p.24. Link: http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/111312p24.s...