Achieving well: student mental health and wellbeing in high-performing schools
In schools that are predominated by high achieving students, the quest for attainment and expectations for excellence are considered baseline norms. However, in this pursuit to succeed in all aspects of academics and extracurricular activities, a great number of students end up experiencing significant levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Many high achieving students intuitively believe that to excel, they should be feeling stressed; that looking after their wellbeing means losing their edge and falling behind. What we teach students about performance, perspective, and goal-setting makes a huge difference in whether they can can manage stress properly or increase their risk of developing poor mental health.
In this keynote, Dr. Jamie Chiu is excited to share the patterns that have emerged through analysing mental health data from several thousand secondary school students that she has screened for suicide risk, and her front-line work in IB schools:
To conclude with, Dr. Chiu will address:
Content without context – in the age of streaming, content-at-your-fingertips, and fake news, how schools can help at-risk, vulnerable students find appropriate resources and support for the topics they are too afraid or embarrassed to ask an adult for?
When asked, “Who do you turn to for advice and help?” 85% of students responds with “The internet”.
As a psychologist and former school counsellor, Dr. Chiu has met numerous students who have kept their problems hidden because they were not comfortable reaching out to an adult at school — yet almost all of them have tried to search for help or advice online.
But the internet can be difficult terrain for vulnerable students to navigate, riddled with cyberbullying, questionable sources, and unreliable advice. So much so that most students don’t even find the answers they initially sought to find, and end up feeling even more confused, alone, and disconnected.
Not only does this lead to poorer outcomes on all fronts — academically, socially, emotionally — but can also lead to disruptive and problematic behaviours, where students become harder to engage and reach, and can even spiral into unforeseen crises.
During this workshop participants will:
Dr. Chiu will share learnings from having designed and implemented social and emotional development programs for schools throughout the years on:
Furthermore, she will describe an innovative school-based digital program that helps students to unpack their problems, figure out why they’re feeling what they’re feeling, what they can do, and where they can go to for help and support (in school, and outside of school).
Machine Learning and Mental Health: How a Chatbot is being Used in Secondary Schools to Screen for Early Signs of Depression
Depression is present in 90% of all youth suicides yet symptoms are often missed and the opportunity for early intervention is lost. In Hong Kong, only 18% of youth who committed suicide had received mental health treatment.
Screening is one way to identify early signs of depression and suicide risk. But it has been criticised for high false positives, and furthering stigma.
Dr. Chiu and her team adapted a paper-based screening tool into a chatbot — a format that is friendly and much more familiar for youth. The use of machine learning has lead to increased accuracy at identifying risk and prediction of willingness to receive help.
By knowing which students are at risk, schools can intervene early, prevent crises from happening, and make data-driven decisions around mental health.