Posted by Vickie McCullough on Oct 9, 2018 2:50:47 PM

Student receiving a bad grade in classroom

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Oct 7-13 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, so we wanted to take a moment to discuss the impact mental health can have on a student's ability to perform and participate at school. A number of ICON students have faced their own mental health issues and found they are much more successful in the online school environment.


A devastating and largely silent epidemic is sweeping America’s schools. Today, 1 in 5 children have emotional, behavioral or mental health disorders. Despite their numbers, an astounding 80% of them will go without the mental health support and care they need. Unsurprisingly, these staggering numbers mean many children fall behind or drop out of school because of their seemingly insurmountable mental health challenges.

While some children with mental illnesses can continue to perform adequately in school, most struggle to keep up. The disruptions and distractions of a mental, emotional, or behavioral issue can make it nearly impossible for some children and teens to stay on track academically.

Strings of absences, falling grades, disruptive outbursts, and eventual dropouts plague students suffering from mental health disorders. Often missed or dismissed as a “phase,” mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among children make academic achievement all but impossible for the most vulnerable.

Despite this reality, mental health problems are not an uncommon or difficult-to-diagnose issue during childhood and adolescent development. These disorders are highly treatable, and with early intervention and consistent therapies, children and teens can build resilience and find academic success. Today, the United States public education system struggles to support children who have a mental illness, with tragically low numbers of social workers and school counselors.

When Home is the Safest Place

For many teens who have a mental illness, one-on-one, tailored care is a game changer. But in an enormous, institutionalized school with hundreds of students, few parents can expect their children to receive that kind of attention. Online public schools like ICON can be the solution to keep a child on track while they receive treatment and therapies.

Free online public school gives students suffering from mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders the space they need to succeed.

Reduce social anxiety: For some students, home is the best place to learn, far away from social concerns or bullying. Increase customization: Some students need more time to focus on specific subjects and need some flexibility. Learning online can provide just the right environment for a student suffering from a mental health issue. Ensure access to caregivers: Whether the student is home with parents, guardians, or other caregivers, they’ll have better access to care and support while they learn online rather than feeling lost among many at a traditional school.

If your student could benefit from free online public school, contact us.

Vickie McCullough

Written by Vickie McCullough

Vickie McCullough is the Head of School at ICON - Idaho Connects Online School, serving 6-12 grade students throughout the state of Idaho.

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