Local expert discusses importance of mental health during the school year

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - According to University of Iowa Professor Allison Bruhn the equation for success among students looks different today than it has in the past.

As we approach the many firsts of a new school year, she says it’s important for educators to keep several key aspects in mind.

“It’s really important that educators get to know their kids and they build relationships and help foster a sense of belonging,” said Bruhn. “When these things come together you create a positive school climate where kids can be successful.”

As the Executive Director at the Scanlan Center for School Mental Health, her research has focused heavily on mental health and safety.

One major event that disrupted the learning environment was the pandemic.

“It’s probably important more now than ever that we focus on creating safe environments in the school, but also environments that foster belonging,” said Bruhn.

She says even the oldest of students and most seasoned faculty member can still experience challenges as a result of COVID.

That’s why routine is also on the top of many educators’ minds this year. And with routine, comes a feeling of safety for everyone.

“Just making sure that there are good systems in place for everybody in the building, not just students but the teachers, administrators, service providers, etc.”

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