Ensuring students thrive academically requires helping kids thrive holistically—and technology can actually be part of the solution.

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Researchers have long speculated that the increasing use of technology and social media among teenagers contributes to worsening mental health outcomes. Now, it can be an important tool to help schools address an unprecedented mental health crisis.

In addition to traditional triggers for poor mental health, like exposure to adversity, in-process coping mechanisms, substance use, and other factors, students are grappling with novel challenges. This includes the long-tail effects of a global pandemic, and frighteningly frequent instances of violence at school and in communities, creating a perfect storm for a mental health crisis.

Unsurprisingly, the kids are not all right.

According to a recent survey that gathered input from more than 350 school social workers, teachers, counselors, administrators, and district leaders, 85 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that students are more stressed and anxious than in previous school years.

“The impact this is having is heartbreaking. Students are struggling in ways I have not seen in the 20+ years I have been a school social worker,” one school social worker said when responding to the survey. “The anxiety and stress impacts academics, attendance, social skills, social interactions with adults and peers, and their friendships.”

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