Possible characteristics you might see the student display:
- Defiant, pushy attitude
- Is a loner
- Group learning, learning/work situations
- Lack of motivation
- Problems with attendance*
- Difficulty setting or meeting goals
- Difficulty dealing with stress*
- Difficulty dealing with new situations
- Blames others for problems or uses negative self-blaming words
- Don't fear students with mental health problems. The majority of these students just need someone to listen.
* Medications, changes in medications or not taking medications can bring on many of these issues.
Top 10 teaching strategies to consider:
- Expand your definition of diversity to include people with psychiatric disabilities. Become educated on the signs and symptoms of emotional disorders. Don't fear students with mental health problems. The majority of these students just need someone to listen to them for a short period of time. Remember you may be the only friendly face they see all day.
- Be sure to clearly state class expectations at the beginning of the term.
- Be prepared to set behavioral expectations for all students in your class. All students are held accountable to the Student Conduct Code and should be referred to the Dean of Students for violation issues to Center for Accessibility Resources for less severe issues.
- Provide regular/detailed feedback on academic work. Accent the positive and/or progress which has been made.
- Help students identify strengths when possible.
- Be flexible in allowing student to complete assignments or exams when absent.
- Be sure to maintain eye contact when talking with the student.
- Convey interest, concern and alertness through body posture and facial expression. Model positive/confident behavior.
- Allow student to work alone as opposed to a group if possible.
- If your syllabus changes significantly during the term offer revised copies on website. Students with mental health issues may have trouble making changes from the initial plan.
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