Mental wellness for learners

by Emmylou C. Satioquia
Teacher III
Sagrada National High School

Isolation and quarantine measures, new norms, and disruptions in routines and structures amid the global threat of coronavirus have put the mental health and wellness of learners at risk.

Many are even predicting that the widespread instances of depression and anxiety during these troubled times may even bring about a pandemic of mental health concerns, following the respiratory disease outbreak.

It is important that as the guardians of the young members of our community, we teachers familiarize ourselves with intervention strategies to help our students cope with the difficulties.

DepEd supports this by recently giving emphasis to the importance of empathy and providing emotional support to students.

The Department is considering utilizing Remote Psychological First Aid in these times of social and physical distancing.

Psychological First Aid is rooted in the following components: creating a sense of safety, creating a sense of calm, creating self and collective efficacy, creating connection, and creating hope.

These interventions aim to reduce the sense of chaos and perceived threats by stressing calmness, emphasizing the present and the possible, and reflecting on positive, specific, and realistic steps to address the concerns.

Such interventions also encourage the use of mindfulness and meditation, especially with the help of the arts, so that learners may develop their coping strategies.

With their highly-impressionable minds, learners need all the help and guidance they can get from us.
While there is no telling how long this crisis will last, or how heavy the impact will be on our mental disposition, we can at least cushion the effect by strengthening our mind and maintaining hope.