Dr. Shannon answers the Heartland’s mental health questions

Heartland Mental Health Questions: Ask Dr. Shannon
Published: Aug. 13, 2023 at 8:11 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Dr. Shannon Cubria Farris is a clinical psychologist. He will be a guest on The Breakfast Show on Sunday mornings, answering viewers’ questions about mental health. You can join in the conversation by submitting anonymous questions here.

This week, Dr. Shannon answers a question from a teacher.

The question asks, “I am a teacher getting ready for school to start back up and I want to make sure I’m cultivating a healthy environment for my students. What are the best things I can do to put their mental health first in the classroom? And what are things I should look out for throughout the year so I know what to look out for if any problems were to arise?”

Dr. Shannon says it’s important for students to feel physically and emotionally safe.

“They see the classroom as a place where they can be themselves and express themselves and their ideas without judgment. Students know that they are valued and respected, regardless of other factors such as ability, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, or religion,” Dr. Shannon said.

Dr. Shannon also says the environment they’re learning in plays a role.

“For students to learn, they must feel safe, engaged, connected, and supported in their classrooms and schools. These “conditions for learning” are the elements of a school’s climate that students experience personally,” Dr. Shannon said.

Mental health affects everyone, whether it’s directly or indirectly. It affects friends, family members, co-workers, and other people in your life. According to Dr. Shannon, you don’t have true health until you have your mental health. Dr. Shannon’s goal is to work together with people and create a safe space to talk about mental health in a way that truly matters.

Dr. Shannon can answer questions about mental illness, dealing with mental illness, working with your children or family members and more. If Dr. Shannon doesn’t have all of the answers, he will find an expert who will be able to answer you.

He hopes these conversations about mental health can lend themselves to a little bit more understanding of what might be going on. He wants the Heartland to lean in with curiosity about situations, especially when it’s uncomfortable.