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The Link Between Mental Health & Academic Performance

The fast paced academic world can be slow to see how a student’s mental health is so intimately connected to their academic performance. In most academic settings, academic success is the driving focus. Because of this many schools are left with an environment that feels slow to address the mental well-being of its students. When students aren’t able to address their mental health, then their academic performance will begin to drop as well. As poor mental health can lead to burnout, lack of motivation, inability to finish projects and more. Schools and students both can take steps to addressing mental health in academic settings.

Here are some of the main ways mental health impacts academic performance:

Cognitive Functions

Student’s mental health has a large impact on their cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. When students are going through any kind of mental distress, it can lead to reduced focus and can hinder their ability to learn to the best of their ability.

Motivation and Engagement

When a student is in a good place mentally, then they tend to be more motivated and excited towards their school work. Their engagement and active participation in class goes up with their mood. On the flip side, however, when a student begins to struggle with their mental health their motivation and engagement in class begins to struggle as well.

Attendance and Participation

Mental health challenges are often a result of class absences. Many students who are struggling with poor mental health will feel as if they can’t go to class. As their motivation goes down, their ability to get to class does too.

It is important that we all keep an eye out for these patterns. When we are aware of what battling with mental health looks like in an academic setting like highschool or college, we can be on the lookout for it. Students, look out for your fellow scholars. Teachers, look out for your students and your coworkers. Lastly, look out for yourself. No one can do their job well while struggling with their mental health, so one of the best things we can do is reach out for help before we need it.

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