Meeting Students Where They Are At: Breaking Down Barriers

We all have a role to play in helping students build the resilience they need to meet and overcome everyday challenges. However, resilience alone is not enough. All students, from every background and every culture, deserve access to the tools, supports and services they need to help them succeed.

Everyone who works in international education shares a passion for helping students succeed. It’s why we do what we do. Every student should feel supported and included and have the same opportunity to reach their goals. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

So, we must ask what can be done to better support your students?

For many students, the barriers to success can feel overwhelming. Homesickness, stress, isolation, loneliness, and academic pressure can become a significant burden, and even more so for students adapting to a new culture as well. Educational institutions have increasingly dedicated resources to support services and student mental health initiatives, but demand continues to outpace capacity.

As agents and mainly as educators, you have the privilege to work closely with students, having a powerful and influential impact on their mental well-being. A student may not be ready to acknowledge a mental health issue or may not even be aware that there is anything to be concerned about. Those who interact with students during their stay abroad are in the best position to notice early indicators of concern and assist in connecting them to appropriate resources and supports.

Understanding the nature of mental health as a world-wide concept is fundamental given the diversity of your student population. Knowledge of effective culturally competent practices can increase one’s ability to respond appropriately to students that have different backgrounds and experiences. 

As parents, agents, educators, administrators, and counsellors, we all have a role to play in helping students build the resilience they need to meet and overcome these everyday challenges. However, resilience alone is not enough. All students, from every background and every culture, deserve access to the tools, supports and services they need to help them succeed. That’s where student support programs such as keep.meSAFE comes in.

Our team of mental health experts and experienced educators works hand-in-hand with our partner schools to provide the tools and training schools need to offer their students.  Through our ground-breaking mental wellness student support program, each student receives the support they need – when they need it.  keep.meSAFE is the industry’s first digital mental health support program, and was designed specifically to address the unique mental health challenges international students may face. Currently, the keep.meSAFE program is available in North America, the UK, and Ireland.

“We all experience issues such as anxiety, depression or feeling isolated at some point,” says Christina Furtado, Account Manager with keep.meSAFE. “In our North American culture, we are perhaps more accustomed to talking about these feelings openly, but the same isn’t necessarily true for international students. Their cultural upbringing may limit their ability to share or even express the difficulties they are facing at school, be they personal, family or academic challenges.”

“Every school wants its students to succeed, and when students are struggling, they aren’t thriving,” continues Furtado.  Not only is keep.meSAFE breaking down barriers that may prevent some students from seeking the help they need, the program helps schools overcome the barriers that prevent them from effectively delivering support services to students.

Let’s together make the difference.  Let’s be the change we want to see in the world!

ALTO members please log in to the members’ area on the webpage (Members/ Members’ Resources) to download the presentation slides and watch the webinar recording – available until 21st June 2019.

2019-05-20T15:41:42+00:00
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