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What should teachers know about mental health problems?

What should teachers know about mental health problems?
Teachers need to be able to identify mental health problems in their students. Some of the signs and behaviours to look out for include:
• A student who is very sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks.
• Seriously trying to harm oneself, or making plans to do so.
• Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing.
• Involvement in many fights or desire to badly hurt others.
• Severe out-of-control behaviour that can hurt oneself or others.
• Not eating, throwing up, or using laxatives to make themselves lose weight.
• Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities.
• Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still that puts the child in physical danger or causes problems in the classroom.
• Repeated use of drugs or alcohol.
• Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships.
• Drastic changes in the child’s behaviour or personality.
If any of these problems are identified in the school context. It is important that the student’s parents are informed and that professional help is accessed as soon as possible.

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