The COVID-19 pandemic didn't just physically affect people globally but also had adverse mental health effects.
Mass social isolation, constant lockdowns, quarantines, and restrictions led to mental agony for people around the globe. Schools got shut, and students shifted to virtual education. The shift led to compromised interaction and altered support systems.
The situation has been nothing less than stressful for everyone to some extent. The change in lifestyles also added new stressors for everyone. A survey by EdWeek reports that 66 percent of high schools principals actively search for effective solutions to battle the increasing levels of anxiety, depression, and avoidance in students.
Another report by OECD reports that young people were more prone to report symptoms of anxiety or depression as compared to adults, by 30% to 80% in Belgium, France, and the United States during 2021.
As for students between the ages of 13-29, UNICEF reports that 27% feel anxiety, and 46% report less motivation to do activities they used to enjoy across nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
While the global education community often highlights the need for resilience (i.e. the ability to manage, withstand and overcome cumulative shocks and stresses) globally, it is prime to think about the social-emotional stability students need during these times.
Here's a list of companies that have been working on student well-being.
Based out of the United States, Jake Gannon and Josh Knutson found Rhithm in Feb 2019. The company offers a wellness check-in tool where students' response becomes the base for a 1-3 minute activity they must do. The activity aims to regulate the well-being of the student. The tool uses a short emoji assessment based on students' responses, and it offers a quick activity or video that'd help the student with the concern identified. The solutions also give access to teachers through their dashboards. Educators can look into any student's well-being report and get a clear picture of their well-being and how it might have impacted their academic and behavior outcomes. The tool covers mental, emotional, energy, physical parameters of well-being.
The company focuses on creating brighter, healthier, and happier children by getting them active every day. The solution offers a comprehensive platform for educators to make the delivery of physical education quick and easy. It integrates active learning into everyday curriculum-based lesson plans and supports students' mental well-being. With this tool, teachers can save time and effort by delivering physical education, active learning, and mental well-being across the school week. The platform features over 1200 curriculum-based lesson plans that teachers can use.
Mindhamok offers solutions that focus on integrating mind and body to support students throughout the university journey. The company does so by partnering with existing mental health support services, helping to reduce waiting times for students, and increasing availability so that students get help at the earliest without delay. The company also offers excellent content access to a wide range of mental health and complementary therapists who can help students go through. Other vital features are helplines, live chat, confidential parents' support, and more. Their support services are currently operational across Europe and in the US.
iSpaceWell-being offers a curriculum for schools and children ages 4 to 13. The curriculum focuses on the mental and emotional well-being of the students and provides a fun, child-friendly framework. The unique point is an age-appropriate framework and a common language to create dialogue around emotions, mental health, and well-being becoming part of everyday life's fabric. The Curriculums ensure that children learn who and how to ask for help, and a common language encourages conversations about mental, emotional, social and physical wellness to become part of everyday school and home life. The platform is currently offered for kids aged between 3-11 and will soon be launching its program for students in primary and secondary schools.
CampusWell is an online health & wellness platform for students that offer informative content on managing stress, sleep, academics, healthy food, sexual assault. The platform features a range of informative resources on critical issues like body image, mindfulness, mental health, stress, studying, time management, peer relationships, friendships, finances, sexual health, and more. The company was founded in 2006 and is based out of the United States.
Katie Dorn, the co-founder, came out with EmpowerU to understand how online skill-building solutions and a blend of small therapy-driven activities can positively affect emotional well-being, school attendance, and grades while decreasing the need for more costly interventions. EmpowerU helps students navigate obstacles in their healthy being and come out the other side stronger. The platform enables students to be hopeful despite their difficult circumstances and makes them feel better and thrive today and in the future. The platform engages students in their wellness journey through social-emotional learning lessons and coaching support. Their learning programs help students with anxiety and depression problems and replace them with confidence and resilience.
It is a digital platform that makes healthy habits and looking after well-being fun, stimulating, and interactive for students. The platform combines social engagement activities, educational content, and digital tools to empower all students to self-help and build positive habits, coping skills, and resilience. The platform aims to create happier, healthier, and more productive students.
MoovKids is a unique online movement curriculum focusing on the physical development of three to seven-year-old children and children and adults with special needs. The platform provides a wide range of fun, innovative movement activities focusing on the physical development of students. The platform focuses on holistic physical development and supports the learning of fundamental movement skills. The platform features instructional videos to meet its goals. Search options allow the user to choose activities according to equipment type, space, focus, etc.
Ian and Julian Fagan founded Skodel. Their online platform delivers real-time data on student well-being through regular 'check-ins' with teachers. The platform regularly sends short surveys to students and based on students' responses; teachers can identify and support students in need of help. Feelings are knowledge, but it's not always easy to identify them, know what they are telling us or what we should do with them. Skodel's check-in helps students gain an understanding of themselves and supports them in accurately identifying how they are feeling and what's behind it. Skodel's online platform is used by over 80 schools across Australia and New Zealand.
ClassCraft uses an innovative game-based learning approach to teach students about social-emotional health. The platform acts as a resource hub for students to access a varied range of resources on topics about well-being. The platform helps increase social-emotional learning through collaboration and group dynamics.
Character Playbook is an innovative digital character education program that uses engaging social-emotional learning activities to educate students about cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships during their critical middle school years. Their learning programs comprise of six lessons that cover key concepts around positive character development, social-emotional learning (SEL), and teaching healthy relationships. The platform allows students to experience and engage with real-world scenarios, including bystander intervention training, resolving conflicts, effective communication, and positive relationships
It is a digital learning solution for students in grades 1-6. The platform offers project-based interdisciplinary programs that include social-emotional learning. The program aims to inspire students to show self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness competencies.
Komodo is a student well-being platform that provides students with a safe space to communicate with their educators while providing schools with crucial data to help them identify the early signs of deteriorating mental health or bullying. The platform was founded in 2018 by Chris Bacon, Matt Goodson, and Jack Wood. The solution offers a web application and a mobile app. the solution is entirely customizable and schools can alter it as per their needs. It comes with psychologist-designed surveys and questions covering topics like how students feel about going to school, socialization, and relationships or major transitions like starting high school or preparing for university. The schools set the time students have to give the tool. Schools can alter the usage based on the environment — for instance, during the pandemic caused by the shutdown, schools may want to have more frequent check-ins.
Mind Yeti is a simple tool that offers free guided sessions and videos designed to teach mindfulness to students.