Conversations around mental health have become more commonplace in today’s society. The global media took special notice of this when Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles dropped out of big-time events, citing mental health issues. Companies at a lower scale are also putting their employees’ wellness first. Many businesses are offering staff mental health days and providing counseling support for those that need it. Schools have also put an emphasis on student mental health in recent years. Institutions are trying to relieve children of academic pressures so that they can enjoy being a kid. Luckily, teachers can use life skills curriculum to help them address these issues. This article will explain the effects of teaching life skills lessons on student mental health.
Helps Them Realize Potential
Life skills lessons are especially beneficial for at-risk youth because it helps them deal with things like stress and anger management. Another reason educators should try life skills lessons with at-risk youth is that it can help them realize their full potential. Many at-risk youth typically comes from troubled backgrounds. They believe that they are born bad. Teach them life skills can help break this cycle. Teachers can help the children realize that there are opportunities everywhere. If students learn to focus on their education, manage their anger, learn good communication and other life skills, they can be successful.
Gives Them Confidence
As previously stated, at-risk youth typically come from troubled backgrounds. For this reason, these children may have very little confidence in themselves. The students may think there’s no point in trying something if they aren’t going to get it right anyway—this is where life skills training comes in. Educators can learn techniques to help students develop more confidence in themselves. Adults can start with small steps and show the child that they’re capable of achieving more than they ever thought they could. Hopefully, this newfound pride will trickle over to other areas of the students’ lives.
Challenging youth tend to act out more than other students. There are many possible reasons for this. Their home life might be more confrontational than other households. In addition, these students may see adults in their lives act negatively when something goes wrong—these are learned behaviors. Finally, at-risk students may struggle to understand certain things, so they act out as a response to frustration.
Luckily, life skills lessons can teach these children effective ways to express their emotions. For example, educators who invest their time in becoming life skills facilitators will learn ways to help students manage their anger and stress. Instead of lashing out when things don’t go their way, students will learn healthier ways to manage their feelings, helping their behaviors improve in the long run. This will help them become more well-adjusted adults in the future.
Increases Problem-Solving Abilities
As previously stated, at-risk youth may not have the skills necessary to express their behaviors appropriately. Luckily, life skills lessons can help with this. Life skills can also help students learn how to problem-solve when a crisis arises. Without these skills, many at-risk students lash out and get frustrated by the problem in front of them. However, with these life skills in mind, children will be able to look at the issue and learn to make more positive choices. Students using these life skills lessons will have more self-awareness, so they should have the skills needed not to react in such a rash way. This skill will follow them for the rest of their lives, as they can show it to employers and use it as an asset when looking for a job. This change will also be evident in their relationships, as the next section will show.
Life skills training lessons can help students improve their relationships with others. Here are a few ways the skills can work in the youth’s favor.
- Students who have these life skills lessons at their disposal have improved communication skills. Since they have better self-awareness and communication skills, it’ll be easier for them to interact with other people.
- Life skills lessons can also help the youth recognize more non-verbal cues. Before learning the skills, it may have been difficult for a youth to engage in social interaction because they didn’t understand the non-verbal cues. Teachers can show students how to recognize these non-verbal signs. Recognizing non-verbal cues will assist students in interactions with other students. They can also use this skill in the future when applying and interviewing for jobs.
- Life skills lessons assist students in feeling empathy. They learn skills to see things from other perspectives, thus becoming more empathetic.
- Finally, life skills lessons may help youth be less vulnerable to peer pressure. Educators can teach them morally correct behavior in hopes that they are not enticed by the poor behavior of others. Resisting peer pressure will benefit them in the future and put them on the path to success.
Yields Positive Physical Benefits
Yes, this article discusses the effects of life skills lessons on student mental health, but everyone knows that mental and physical health are intertwined. So, it would be inappropriate to discuss one without even mentioning the other. It turns out that the student’s physical health will improve if they improve their mental health. Youth may experience better sleep and have more energy as their mental health improves. This may be because the students will no longer be holding onto stress and frustration that bogged them down in the past.
The Arise Foundation is the best partner for educators, counselors, and mental health workers who want to improve the life skills education of the youth they work with. The Arise Foundation has over 35 years of experience in this area. Our goal is to help children and youth be the best they can be. That’s why we offer superior life skills lessons for middle schools. We understand that it’s every educator’s responsibility to know that every student learns differently and recognize that some may need more assistance than others. With Arise’s life skills training programs, educators can become more effective at their jobs while helping children prepare for their lives as young adults. It’s a win-win situation.