Top-performing countries are responding to increased mental health and social and emotional learning (SEL) needs of students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in a range of ways.
First, they have increased counseling staff in schools to support students. Singapore has hired additional social welfare officers for all schools; Japan is assigning more social workers and counselors to schools on an as needed basis. Second, they have developed new support programs for students. Korea is developing a national mentoring program for vulnerable students and Singapore is developing a peer mentoring program for students as part of the accelerated updating of its Character and Citizenship curriculum that will now include a focus on mental health and cyber wellness. And finally, they are developing resources for teachers and parents to use to support students. British Columbia created a virtual WE Well-being program with curriculum resources for educators to use to help students develop SEL skills. They also developed the Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators (EASE) program for parents and caregivers to work with children experiencing anxiety and isolation.