Helping Students Cope With Trauma Starts With Self Care


Trauma is an emotional experience that can have lasting impacts on a person’s mental health and well-being. In recent years, schools have been challenged with addressing the needs of students who have experienced trauma. It’s important to understand the role that self-care plays in helping students cope with trauma, as it starts with recognizing and addressing one’s own physical, mental, and emotional needs.

1. Understanding trauma in students

It’s important to recognize the signs of trauma in students, including behavioral changes, withdrawal, or poor academic performance. Educators should be aware of potential triggers and work to create a safe and supportive learning environment where students feel comfortable sharing their experiences.

2. The importance of self-care for educators

Educators can only effectively help students if they are taking care of their own physical, mental, and emotional needs. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, engaging in physical activity, and finding ways to reduce stress. By maintaining self-care practices, educators create a foundation for resilience and empathy.

3. Encourage self-care in students

When educators teach students the importance of self-care, they learn healthy coping strategies that last a lifetime. Encourage students to find activities that bring them joy and relaxation outside of school. This might include art or music therapy, yoga or mindfulness exercises, or connecting with friends and family members.

4. Establishing school-wide supports for trauma-sensitive education

To create an environment that supports the recovery process for students experiencing trauma, schools should consider implementing trauma-informed curriculums that incorporate social-emotional learning components and mental health resources for both educators and students.

5. Fostering connections and creating community

A strong support system is crucial for coping with trauma. Educators can foster connections amongst peers by creating opportunities for group discussions, collaborative projects, or mentorship programs. Additionally, partnering with community organizations can provide resources and support for students who are experiencing trauma.


Helping students cope with trauma starts with self-care for both educators and students. By understanding the effects of trauma, promoting self-care practices, and fostering a connected, supportive learning environment, schools can help students begin to heal from difficult experiences. Schools should work to establish trauma-informed practices in their curriculums and create a caring community that supports all students.

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