Fund for Teachers - The Podcast

Seeking Understanding for Students who Self-Harm

June 22, 2021 Carrie Caton Season 3 Episode 9
Fund for Teachers - The Podcast
Seeking Understanding for Students who Self-Harm
Show Notes

Prior to the pandemic, experts widely acknowledged that America’s students were experiencing a mental health crisis. A 2017 CDC report showed that suicide was the second-leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. Add incidents of self-harm into the equation and the outlook is even more bleak. The average age a student begins self-harming habits is 13 and 45% of people use cutting as their method of self-injury. And who has the most exposure to students during these years? Ostensibly, its teachers.

Earlier this year, the Brookings Institution published an article titled “Educators are key in protecting student mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Cassi Clausen, teacher and founder of The Open School in Mission Viejo, CA, realized she was not equipped for this challenge. In 2018 Cassi received a Fund for Teachers grant to Attend the annual Sudbury Schools Conference in Kingston, NY, to learn best practices for supporting at-risk students. Using one of Fund for Teachers’ new Innovation Grants, she will spend the summer in dialogue with psychology Dr. Thomas D’Angelo, an expert in pre-teen and teen mental health and self-harm practices, to shift her personal understanding of self-harm and learn how to create safe spaces for struggling students.

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Resources referenced in the podcast:

This American Life's "Kid Politics" on democratic education

American Psychological Association article “A New Look at Self Injury”