Education is meant to be a journey of growth and learning, but it's no secret that it can also be a source of significant stress and mental health challenges for Learners of all ages. The mental health crisis in education affects both younger Learners and those in higher education alike.
The mental health crisis in schools is a complex array of challenges that transcends demographics and socio-economic backgrounds. According to the World Health Organization, half of all mental health conditions in adulthood begin by the age of 14. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as alongside the negative effects of a global pandemic, modern-day Learners also suffer from the relentless pursuit of academic excellence, the intense, personal influence of social media, and heightened societal expectations, leading to a surge in stress, anxiety, and depression.
The intense rise in the number of young people suffering from mental health issues makes it impossible for teachers in the traditional education systems to manage, as they lack both the time and resources. This combined with a lack of adequate health services, means that many children and young adults are going untreated. And so, with the students suffering and the teachers struggling; the school itself begins to buckle under the weight of the problem.
How to Tackle Mental Health Within Education
Education is not just about imparting knowledge, but also about fostering comprehensive growth. A more holistic approach is required in this fast-paced, digital age. Not only for the sake of mental health, but also to prepare Learners for the modern-day workforce.
With Brave Generation Academy, the learning model tackles education in a different way. While BGA can by no means claim to have a cure for mental illness, their flexible environment enables Learners to be more at-ease in their schooling, both as it pertains to their academics and their social interactions.
What Aspects of BGA Can Improve Mental Health?
- Study at your own pace: The BGA model provides a nurturing environment for the individual. One of the many ways this is done is through the Learner’s ability to study at their own pace. This means that there are far less societal pressures for a Learner to “keep up with the crowd”, as each individual is not subject to the same curriculum with the same timing. This also greatly reduces competition amongst Learners, as they cannot pit themselves against their peers when they are all working on their own timeframes.
- Learning Coaches: BGA Learners are also given the freedom to decide what they want to achieve and how they want to get there. They are helped in this decision by a mentor-like Learning Coach, who encourages them to think about both academic and personal goals. This can dilute the stress and anxiety of deciding their future, as they feel they have someone alongside them who knows them well and is there to support them.
- Hubs: Due to the Hubs offering a ‘workspace’ style environment, equipped with focus rooms, relaxation zones, kitchen area, and unallocated desk space, working from BGA feels more like a university or office common room. This set up takes away much of the anxiety that a traditional classroom might cause.
- Flexible Schedule: You choose to start and finish your (recommended 5 hour) day in a way that suits your schedule. The Hubs are open from 8am-6pm daily and do not close during the summer months. This gives Learners the freedom to explore extracurricular activities, or even internships. Letting Learners balance their lives means that their passions can get just as much attention as their academics do, so they don’t get so overwhelmed.
- Mixed-Age Groups: BGA has found that without segmenting Learners into different age groups, they have cut down on bullying. This is often because younger Learners see and seek to emulate older Learners, and the older Learners feel a sense of responsibility to behave with younger Learners around.
A Way Forward
It's crucial for educational institutions to prioritise mental health, offering a supportive and nurturing environment for Learners to grow. With the current traditional schooling system lacking resources, alternative education is rising up to take on the challenge.
With BGA's commitment to providing a safe and supportive space in which to learn, combined with their holistic model, there's hope for a brighter future in education.
Contact us today to find out more about the BGA’s unique education model!