Mental health report card

Report cards, a timeless educational tool, have always been a guiding light for students, providing a holistic view of their academic progress. But what if I told you there’s another essential report that deserves just as much attention—one that delves into the depths of your well-being and emotional growth?

In the same way that report cards provide insights into your academic achievements, a more comprehensive mental health report offers a gateway to understanding your emotional and psychological growth. Exploring the intricacies of this journey equips students with self-awareness—an essential tool that can lead to transformative improvements in their lives.

Knowing Themselves

Mental health reports offer valuable insights into the inner struggles that students may be silently facing. Oftentimes, students themselves might not be fully aware of their own behavioral patterns, emotions, or challenges. These mental health reports have the potential to shed light on these subtle nuances by tracking and isolating specific moods and emotions throughout an extended period of time, presenting students with a more comprehensive and accurate depiction of their emotional well-being.

Speaking Up for Themselves

Gaining insight into their emotional struggles through mental health reports can be a catalyst for students to open up about their feelings. Empowered by this understanding, they become more willing to engage in open discussions with educators, parents, or mental health professionals, seeking the support and guidance they need. Breaking the silence surrounding mental health not only brings relief but also reduces the burden of carrying their challenges alone. Sharing their emotions becomes a source of comfort and an essential step towards healing and growth.

Mastering Themselves

With mental health data in their hands, students may detect correlations between their moods and specific commitments or activities, allowing them to take proactive steps to address the root causes of their mental health struggles. For example, if a student notices that their stress and anxiety spike every Wednesday afternoon around the same time they have weekly math quizzes, they can turn this challenge into an opportunity to build healthy coping mechanisms like creating or refining a study schedule, attending extra help sessions and easing pre-exam jitters with some binaural beats.

Embracing Holistic Learning

Just as report cards have been a traditional pillar of education, embracing the power of mental health reports is a progressive step towards holistic learning. Recognizing that emotional well-being is as crucial as academic excellence, we can create a nurturing and supportive educational environment for every student’s journey of growth and self-discovery.

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    The reality of burnout

    High stress, prioritizing productivity, and not respecting days off are just some of the reasons why employee mental health is rapidly declining. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged America to find workable solutions to not being able to come into the office, but it’s clear that employees are still stressed at home. It’s not just the environment that’s draining—it’s all the stress that comes with being expected to work 40 hours a week and still have time to be a normal, functioning human.

    The Reality of Employee Mental Health

    A Deloitte report published in 2023 shows that only 63% of workers positively rate their physical health, while almost 40% claim that a toxic work environment is taking a toll on their physical, mental, and social health. However, many executives assume employees are doing much better than they actually are: 77% of leaders believe that employee wellbeing and mental health is much better at their company than it actually is.

    Cutting Back or Cultivating Wellness?

    75% of employees worry that in the face of a financial recession, their company would cut back on mental health support and benefits that they utilize. On the flip side, 64% of the CEOs surveyed claimed they would increase mental health benefits in a recession, so this remains to be seen. Mental health has been growing in priority lately, with 93% of CEOs agreeing that the company should be encouraging positive mental health in their employees. Although it’s a huge step in the right direction, it’s up to companies to stand by their claims and execute for the wellbeing of their workers. By utilizing programs such as SoundMind, Calm, and Headspace, workplaces are striving more to give employees the mental health tools they need, but it’s not effective unless the work environment is also supportive of mental health.

    The Unending Work Day Facade

    A 2023 Headspace survey on workplace attitudes towards mental health shows that many leaders and CEOs believe that keeping a permanent positive attitude in the workplace is the key to success, especially in times of uncertainty. On the downside, for employees this may be causing additional stress and creating a disconnect between leadership and workers—when bosses are always expecting positivity, it makes it difficult for employees to honestly communicate when they are constantly having to put on a facade of happiness.

    Permanent Burnout

    With increasing workplace stressors, it becomes difficult to pencil in some time for rest and self-care. 74% of employees surveyed by Deloitte say that they have a difficult time unplugging and disconnecting from work, while just 42% say they have enough time for socializing and engaging in hobbies. America is burned out, and the responsibility of finding time for self-care is on the employees.


    Employees are stressed out and overworked, and many report not having time to enjoy their non-work lives or spend time with loved ones. With mental health declining among all groups, from students to employees, it demands a better solution, starting with empowering individuals with mental health tools and a supportive work environment. Respecting workers as human, leading with empathy, and motivating teams to get work done positively is only the start to turning around workplace mental health. SoundMind aims to give administrators and leaders the tools to help their employees using AI insights and mood tracking, as well as utilizing the power of sound to combat the mental health epidemic that is our reality. Check out more of our blog here to see what we’re doing to fight back, and read about how you can take care of yourself better.

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      Starting the school year strong

      The beginning of a new school year is like the opening sentences of a fresh book, offering the chance to create a strong first impression and set the tone for what’s to come. Just as a first chapter can determine our interest in a story, the initial weeks of school can shape our academic journey. To make the most of this opportunity, here are four simple yet powerful tips to set the tone for the upcoming school year. 

       1. Set Concrete Goals and Themes

      Every journey needs a destination, and every lesson needs a purpose. By setting concrete goals and themes for the year, you provide your students with a roadmap for their educational adventure. When students understand the “why” behind what they’re learning, it ignites their curiosity and drive. Whether it’s a science class exploring the wonders of the universe or a literature class unraveling the layers of storytelling, clear goals make the learning experience more meaningful. This intentionality ensures that every lesson contributes to a bigger picture, keeping motivation and engagement high.

      2. Forge Genuine Connections

      Education is not just about facts and figures; it’s about fostering relationships. Investing time in connecting with your students on a personal level can make a world of difference. Learn about their interests, hobbies, and dreams. Create organic connections through inside jokes and shared experiences. By doing so, you create a warm and welcoming atmosphere where students feel valued and understood. 

      3. Embrace Organizational Excellence

      In the chaos of a school year, organization is your compass. Keeping track of assignments, projects, and important dates in a clear and accessible manner is vital. An organized structure not only keeps you on top of your responsibilities but also provides students with a predictable routine. This predictability nurtures a productive learning environment where students can focus on their growth without unnecessary distractions.

      4. Prioritize Self-Care

      Teaching can be demanding, both mentally and emotionally. That’s why taking breaks is not only acceptable but necessary. When you’re off-duty, truly disconnect. Engage in activities that allow you to recharge without thinking about lesson plans or emails. By doing so, you’ll not only protect your own well-being, but you’ll also be modeling a healthy approach to life for your students.

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        Navigating the digital divide’s impact on education and mental health

        Technology’s meteoric rise propels our ever-evolving world, unlocking limitless possibilities and reshaping industries, economies, and our daily lives. From artificial intelligence, robotics, and quantum computing, to biotechnology, groundbreaking breakthroughs revolutionize how we work, communicate, and thrive. But in the wake of astonishing growth, a troubling and persistent digital divide continues to cast its shadow. 

        In 2018, a study conducted by the PRB found that one-fourth of all children ages 5 to 17 lack computer, and/or high-speed internet access. This disparity poses grave consequences for underprivileged youth within two critical areas of development. 


        With the increasing reliance on technology in education, students without access to reliable internet or devices face significant disadvantages. These students may struggle to complete online assignments, participate in virtual classes, or access educational resources readily available to their digitally connected peers.

        Insufficient access to educational resources creates a glaring disparity in opportunities, impeding students’ academic progress and undermining their ability to compete on an equal level with their peers. These disparities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which necessitated the adoption of hybrid learning models and accelerated the integration of technology into education. 

        Mental Health

        In today’s technology-driven era, where mental healthcare heavily relies on digital platforms, those without reliable internet access or devices are at a significant disadvantage. Accessing crucial resources such as online therapy sessions, mental health apps, and digital support becomes a daunting challenge for them, setting them apart from their digitally connected counterparts. This glaring lack of access compounds the existing disparities in mental healthcare, leaving them unable to seek the support they need, effectively cope with challenges, and maintain their overall well-being. 

        Some strategies that can be implemented to address and resolve the digital divide include:

        1. Infrastructure Development: Investing in the expansion and improvement of broadband infrastructure in underserved areas can significantly reduce the digital divide. This includes extending high-speed internet access to remote regions and economically disadvantaged communities.
        2. Affordability Initiatives: Implementing programs that promote affordable internet access and device ownership, such as subsidized plans or discounted devices, can make technology more accessible to individuals who are currently unable to afford it.
        3. Digital Literacy Training: Providing comprehensive digital literacy programs can empower individuals with the necessary skills to navigate technology effectively. This includes training on basic computer skills, internet usage, online safety, and utilizing digital resources for educational and professional purposes.
        4. Mobile and Community-based Solutions: Leveraging mobile technology and community centers can bridge the digital divide in areas where traditional internet infrastructure is challenging to establish. Mobile internet connectivity and community hubs equipped with computers can provide access to individuals who otherwise lack reliable connectivity.
        5. Collaborations: Encouraging partnerships among governments, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector fosters innovative solutions to bridge the digital divide by pooling resources and expertise.
        6. Enabling Policies: Implementing policies and regulations that promote equitable access to technology and fair competition among Internet service providers is crucial. This includes measures to encourage infrastructure development, foster competition, and protect consumer rights.


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          How to unlock mental resilience with belly breathing

          Within our fast-paced and demanding lives, it’s essential to find outlets to cultivate mental resilience and face the never-ending stream of commitments. One mindfulness technique that offers simplicity and accessibility is diaphragmatic breathing, a powerful technique that engages the diaphragm, a muscle located beneath the lungs.

          By engaging the diaphragm—a muscle situated beneath the lungs—this powerful practice stimulates the vagus nerve, which extends from your head to your colon to activate your body’s relaxation response, effectively reducing both blood pressure and heart rate. This practice is commonly known as belly breathing due to its emphasis on utilizing the abdominal region during the breathing process.

          Follow the steps below to experience the benefits of this calming practice.

          1. Set the scene: Get comfortable in a seated or lying position. Close your eyes, relax your muscles, and place one hand on your abdomen below the ribcage.
          2. Inhale deeply: Breathe in slowly through your nose, directing your attention to filling your abdomen with air. Visualize your belly expanding, like a balloon being gently inflated.
          3. Exhale gradually: Release the breath slowly through your mouth, allowing your abdomen to naturally deflate.
          4. Repeat the process: Continue inhaling deeply through your nose, feeling your abdomen rise, and exhaling slowly through your mouth, feeling your abdomen fall. Aim for a smooth and steady rhythm.
          5. Focus on your breath: Stay fully present with your breath, attentively following the deep inhales and gentle, prolonged exhales. If your mind drifts away, gently guide it back to the soothing rhythm of your breath.


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            How to manifest your best self with affirmations

            Affirmations possess the remarkable ability to reshape our thoughts, beliefs, and perspective, infusing our lives with positivity. By intentionally selecting and repeating these uplifting statements, we can rewire our minds, bolster our self-confidence, and manifest transformative changes. Engage in the empowering writing exercise below to unlock a newfound level of self-empowerment, as you tap into the boundless realm of possibilities that affirmations offer.

            1. Reflect and Identify: Take a moment to reflect on the areas of your life or self-image that you want to uplift and improve. Identify specific qualities, beliefs, or goals you want to affirm.
            2. Be Present and Positive: Frame your affirmations in the present tense, as if they are already true. Use positive language and focus on what you desire rather than what you want to avoid.
            3. Make it Specific: Be specific and precise in your affirmations. Instead of general statements, craft affirmations that target specific behaviors, attitudes, or outcomes you want to cultivate.
            4. Keep it Personal: Tailor your affirmations to your unique needs and aspirations. Make them personal and relevant to your own journey, ensuring they resonate deeply with you.
            5. Use Empowering Language: Choose words that evoke strength, confidence, and possibility. Use empowering adjectives and action-oriented verbs to amplify the impact of your affirmations.
            6. Review and Repeat: Regularly review and repeat your written affirmations. Read them aloud or silently, allowing their positive energy to permeate your consciousness and shape your mindset.


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              How to supercharge your day with morning pages

              Morning Pages, popularized by Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way,” invite you to embark on a daily journey of uninhibited expression. This creative and therapeutic ritual becomes a sanctuary for self-reflection, problem-solving, and delving into the depths of your emotions and thoughts. By following the steps below, you’ll be able to unlock a renewed sense of clarity, alleviate stress, and ignite the spark of creativity within you through the tactile sensation of putting pen to paper.

              1. Set aside dedicated time and place: Choose a quiet and peaceful location in the morning for your Morning Pages practice. Allocate a specific time, aiming for 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted writing.
              2. Start writing immediately: As soon as you sit down, let your thoughts flow without judgment or censorship. Write continuously, allowing your stream of consciousness to guide the process.
              3. Fill three pages: Aim to fill three pages of your notebook, focusing on self-expression and reflection. Don’t worry about perfection—just keep writing, and exploring thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
              4. Embrace honesty and reflection: Use Morning Pages as a safe space to express yourself authentically. Embrace vulnerability and avoid overthinking or editing your words. Afterward, reflect on your writing, noticing patterns and insights to inform your personal growth.


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                4 hacks to finish the school year on top

                As the days get longer, the stack of assignments and exams to grade grows, casting a shadow over your desk. Battling heavy eyelids and the lure of the relaxing smells of summer, a mix of freshly cut grass and sunscreen, you cling to the buzzing jolt of caffeine to stay alert and awake. The final stretch of a long school year can feel like a constant struggle to stay afloat against an increasingly suffocating amount of work, and it is crucial to find ways to ride this wave with resilience and grace. Here are some tools to help you navigate the challenges ahead and finish the school year strong.

                🌬️  Tool #1: Take a deep breath

                Breathing is often taken for granted due to its involuntary and inconspicuous nature, but it holds remarkable power to shape our well-being. While this practice is rooted in Eastern spirituality dating back thousands of years, modern Western medical studies have indicated that these ancient techniques yield tangible benefits, from treating stress-related mental and physical disorders to supporting metabolic processes.

                As you begin to stress over and lose yourself in the year-end’s intensifying workstream, taking control of your inhalations and exhalations can serve as a gentle reminder to slow down and recenter yourself in the present. Due to the constant responsibilities and pressures that teachers face, not only within the classroom but also outside of school when preparing lesson plans, study guides, and grading assignments, breathing practices are helpful tools that can establish and facilitate mental resilience to brave the around-the-clock commitments.

                One of the easiest and most accessible breathing techniques is called Diaphragmatic breathing, which involves engaging a muscle called the diaphragm, which is located below your lungs. It is also called belly breathing because you are focusing on your abdominal region instead of using just your chest. Click here for a step-by-step guide to Diaphragmatic breathing

                💕  Tool #2: Show yourself some love

                Positive affirmations can be likened to rays of sunlight that illuminate our inner landscape, bringing warmth, clarity, and vitality to our thoughts and emotions. Evoking the famous words of French philosopher Rene Descartes, “I think, therefore I am,” affirmations have the capacity to validate your existence and shape your reality by nourishing and revitalizing your mind with positive thoughts.

                A positive emotional outlook can be applied as a lens through which stress becomes motivation, setbacks become growth opportunities and exhaustion is met with a level of resilience fueled by responsibility. But the impacts do not exist in a vacuum. According to a  2017 study, there is a causal relationship between a teacher’s attitude and their student’s behavior, attitude, and academic performance. As you embrace a positive outlook, not only will your own efforts shine brightly, but they will, ignite your students’ own drive, inspiring them to reach for the soaring standards you’ve set for them. By radiating positivity, you create a classroom environment where growth, enthusiasm, and success flourish.

                By putting pen to paper and writing them down, you breathe life into your affirmations through physical tokens of positivity that you can access and revisit at any time. Click here for a step-by-step guide to performing affirmations.

                🧠  Tool #3: Unload your stream of consciousness

                Picture this: You’re sitting at your desk in the early stages of the morning. The sky is still splotched with dashes of purple and orange and the rays of the sun are gently beaming down, illuminating an empty notebook facing up at you. As pencil meets paper, the thoughts flow. Fueled by a mix of caffeine and creativity, your innermost thoughts start to stream out, filling page after page. After the writing comes a feeling of fresh lightness that feels as if someone has lifted a heavy jacket off your shoulders on a hot summer day.

                What was just described is a writing exercise called Morning Pages. Popularized by Julia Cameron’s self-help classic “The Artist’s Way,” this practice provides a completely unfiltered and unrestrained opportunity for self-expression and release without regard for substance or style. The only thing that matters is that for the time allotted, you are writing anything and everything that floats into your mind. In the closing months of the school year, Morning Pages can be an incredibly therapeutic space that can be used as both an incubator for introspection to meditate on the triumphs and failures of the school year, and also an outlet to relieve yourself of pent-up frustrations and stress.

                🎉  Tool #4: Celebrate the journey 

                Oftentimes it’s easy to get swept up by the endless cycle of assignments and classes without appreciating the journey, which is why the end of the school year is the perfect time to step back, take a deep breath, and appreciate how far you’ve come.

                Class celebrations mark a symbolic end to the academic journey, serving as a collective recognition of the accomplishments and growth achieved throughout the year. Students and teachers are able to reflect on their shared triumphs, acknowledging the hard work, dedication, and progress made by all. This sense of closure fosters deep satisfaction and a well-deserved sense of pride, solidifying the bonds formed within the classroom community. Here are some themed celebrations that could be the perfect bookend for a long school year.

                1. “Lights, Camera, Action!”: Host a red carpet event where students can showcase their talents through a talent show or film festival. Create a Hollywood-inspired atmosphere with glamorous decorations, paparazzi-style photo booths, and award certificates to honor each student’s unique abilities.
                2. “Escape to the Future”: Create an escape room experience where students work together to solve puzzles and challenges related to the lessons they’ve learned throughout the year. The theme focuses on looking ahead and applying knowledge gained to overcome obstacles.
                3. “Museum of Memories”: Set up a classroom exhibit featuring memories and highlights from the school year. Students can contribute personal artifacts, photographs, and written reflections to create a collective display that encapsulates their shared experiences.


                Thank you for reading “Piece of Mind”! If you liked this post, share it with a friend and help us increase our positive impact on Gen-Z mental health 🙂 


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