October 26, 2022 7:10 AM
SEL Screeners and Mental Health Screeners both play an essential role in understanding and assessing student health & wellness. A lot of times, districts are under the impression that they need one or the other. The reality is that they measure different things but both contribute to safer and healthier communities.
SEL Screeners have proven to be effective in assessing a person's soft skills like self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. All of these acquired skills support a student’s social, emotional, and academic development (CASEL). Once these individual skills are measured, schools, teachers, and staff can use these learnings to build more equitable and supportive learning environments.
Mental Health Screeners are essential in identifying mental health needs—like anxiety, mood disorders, stressors, and trauma—early. Several years after the pandemic, kids are still dealing with the lasting impact it had on their mental health.
Mental health screenings are a key part of youth mental health. Approximately 50% of lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% begin by age 24. At the same time, the average delay between when symptoms first appear and intervention is approximately 11 years. Mental health screenings allow for early identification and intervention and help bridge the gap. National Alliance on Mental Illness
Mental Health Screeners measure things like anxiety, stress, anger management, trauma, and more. Uncovering mental health warning signs early leads to fewer crises’ and preemptive evidence-based, multi-tiered systems of support. The results can be viewed on an individual-level as well as across school sites, grade levels, academics, and SEL status to inform interventions, training, and universal support where needed.
Below is a helpful visual to understand how these screeners can—and should—be used in conjunction with one another.