Ever since Robin William’s untimely demise last month, there has been a huge influx of articles, blog posts, and resources on mental illness floating around in the vast expanse of the interwebs. From this David Wong piece ‘Why Funny People Kill Themselves’ to the many discussions on the stigma of mental illness, there are a lot of reminders out there that mental illness is a real thing effecting real people of every racial, religious, social, and economic background.
Since many of teachers out there are either already back to the classroom or are headed back for a new school year shortly, these TED Talks on the struggle of mental health (compiled by the folks over at TED seem particularly relevant. You’re coming into a classroom filled with students you don’t know well. Whose backgrounds and family situations are unfamiliar to you. Who may put on a very different face in the classroom than what they’re feeling, thinking, or doing once they leave. Especially if you’ve never suffered from mental illness or have been close to someone who has, these personal stories from the ‘other side’ of mental illness will help you see and learn, and hopefully help you to be a little more observant with your students, and compassionate to those who may be having an issue. There are 7 talks, so they may take you a little while to get through, but we thought they were all relevant, since they address many types of mental illness (not just depression, as is so often the case).
Have you ever dealt with a student’s mental illness in your career as a teacher or administrator? Do you have recommendations, tips, or advice for the audience? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.