K-5 Mental Health and Behavior Webinar

how can k-5 teachers support student mental health and behavior?

In any given year, 13-20 percent of children in the United States experience a mental health issue. Though treatment is available, 80 percent do not receive needed services, making it more difficult to treat later in life.

Identifying a mental health or behavioral issue in a child is challenging, given the many physical, mental, and emotional changes that occur as part of their natural development. Since children spend half of their waking day in the classroom, schools are uniquely positioned to help a child experiencing a mental health or behavioral issue to receive needed services. However, many teachers do not know how to access information and resources or how to communicate these with families.

elementary classroom

The Opportunity

There are a multitude of resources available for teachers and school staff to help them play an active role in supporting positive student mental health and behavior. For example, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction offers several tools and resources to address student mental health and behavior issues and is working with partner organizations across the state to realize these efforts. With these resources, teachers can effectively advocate for a student’s mental health and behavioral needs by working with their school support professionals (e.g., nurses, counselors, social workers, psychologists and school resource officers) and parents.


Miss our Webinar?

As part of our 2014 program of work on building a quality workforce, we hosted a webinar with K-5 teachers, school support professionals and parents to discuss the challenges of childhood mental health, and behavioral issues in their communities.

Panelists included:

Anita Brown-Graham, Director, Institute for Emerging Issues 
William Lassiter, Director of Juvenile Community Programs, NC Department of Public Safety
Dr. Jeannie Golden, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, East Carolina University 
Dr. Ben Matthews, Director of Safe and Healthy Schools Support Division, NC Department of Public Instruction
Shelia Carraway, Teacher of the Year, West Greene Elementary, Snow Hill, NC

Anita Herron, Parent, and SEARCH Family Support Program Advocate


Additional Resources

North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) has a plethora of online resources including modules for student behavior. To learn how to access those modules, click here.

Learn more from NCDPI about what Public Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is and how it fosters a positive climate to promote behavioral and academic success for students here.