Mental health in education and the workplace has been moving up the educational agenda in recent years, surfacing complex issues that have a major impact on learning experiences and outcomes.
As research continues to track and monitor challenges for learners and employees in fast-changing institutions and organizations, governments around the world look to address broader issues like learning loss and longer term impacts of the pandemic through changes in policy and funding. The EdTech industry offers an increasing array of innovative digital support and solutions for different mental health challenges, from prevention and management platforms to counselling and tele-therapy, content and curriculum, support for social emotional learning and organizational analytics for tracking and troubleshooting.
In K-12 education, as many as one in five students in the US experience mental health concerns in any given year, including anxiety, depression and behavior disorders. Research suggests that over 1.2m students did not return to the US public school system following the pandemic, and around 230,000 remain unaccounted for. Around the world, those coming back to school have dealt with learning loss, equity issues and ongoing disruptions across the teacher workforce.
In higher education, the American Council on Education (ACE) notes that the demand for mental health services has been rising dramatically for more than a decade, and that the current growth is not unique to COVID-19. Among the cohorts under pressure are educators around the world, especially in the K12 sector. Ongoing strikes and failure to retain staff is putting further strain on institutions where the effects of the pandemic are still being felt.