Mental health tops education leaders’ post-pandemic priorities

Education leaders are beginning to move on from COVID-related safety measures, and are instead focusing on managing mental health and violence on campus, according to a new report from Rave Mobile Safety.

Rave’s report,  2022 Crisis Communication and Safety in Education Survey, surveyed more than 400 K-12 employees and more than 380 higher education staffers.

The past two years of COVID-19 restrictions have been a challenging time for students, staff, faculty and parents/guardians. Campus leaders are concerned about how the lingering effects of the pandemic will impact school communities going forward, especially if the right resources and safety measures are not put in place.

Key findings include:

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Student mental health is the top safety concern for the 2022-2023 school year for K-12 respondents (61%) and the second-highest concern for higher education respondents (59%).Faculty and staff mental health is the third-highest safety concern for respondents from both K-12 schools (52%) and higher education institutions (44%).Concerns about active assailants on campus rose dramatically year-over-year for both K-12 respondents (+14%) and higher education respondents (+15%).K-12 survey respondents also shared increased concern about cyberbullying compared to 2021 (+12%), while higher education administrators expressed increased anxiety regarding crime (+20%) and severe weather events (+19%).To address these concerns, respondents on both the K-12 (43%) and higher education (39%) fronts are investing more heavily in mental health resources.For crisis communications, K-12 respondents indicated room for improvement in reaching staff (23%), and students and parents/guardians (26%), while higher education respondents had less concern in reaching staff (16%), and students and parents/guardians (15%).

K-12 Schools

The pandemic brought on periods of isolation and stress to students everywhere, bringing mental health concerns to the forefront of challenges for K-12 schools. According to the survey, two of the top three safety concerns for respondents are student (61%) and faculty/staff (52%) mental health. Anxiety around potential situations involving an active assailant saw a major rise (+14%), as did cyberbullying (+12%).

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