Crisis Prevention Institute Data Show Student Trauma is a Paramount Focus for Educators this School Year

Recent survey shows that addressing student trauma, mental health issues and increased anxiety will be central focal points for educators in 2022-23

MILWAUKEE (Aug. 30, 2022) – As the back-to-school season is in full swing, students and teachers are carrying unaddressed anxiety and stress from the previous year, as well as the normal back-to-school jitters,  that will affect their behaviors and performance in and out of the classroom. Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), the world leader in de-escalation and workplace violence prevention, surveyed educators nationwide to gauge their critical concerns and focus for the 2022-23 school year. CPI found that student trauma, teacher stress, mental health issues and increased anxiety are top areas of concern.

“This data amplifies an already pressing problem impacting schools nationwide,” said Susan Driscoll, President of CPI. “Research has shown that by 16, more than two-thirds of teens will have experienced a potentially traumatic event. Now, the pandemic has left feelings of chronic unpredictability and isolation in its wake. If the environment feels unsafe, it can change the way we think and our capacity to think. Therefore, schools must intentionally cultivate environments of connection and safety.”

Survey findings include:

  • 22% of respondents said that student trauma, mental health issues and increased anxiety are schools’ primary focus
  • 18% of educators polled said that they would be focusing their efforts on disruptive behaviors in the classroom
  • Staffing shortages will be the focus for 15% of educators surveyed

These findings by CPI come on the heels of a recent Education Week survey that found more than four out of every ten educators said at least one teacher in their district had been physically assaulted or attacked by a student in the past year. However, before the release of that data, it was clear that educators were under unprecedented strain.  The National Education Association estimates that 55% of teachers nationwide are planning to leave the profession sooner than expected due to the impact of the pandemic.

“Educator trauma, anxiety and stress have turnover at unprecedented rates,” said Dr. Kevin Mabie, Global Professional Instructor at CPI and former educator. “As trauma and anxiety continue to filter into the classroom, educators see a significant increase in behavioral changes from their students. As a result, educators are challenged with not only addressing those behaviors but also creating a culture of safety for the students witnessing them.”

CPI training can help alleviate secondary traumatic stress/vicarious trauma in educators by:

  • Providing confidence and emotional-regulation skills to use when managing trauma in students
  • Creating a collaborative team approach to address challenging behaviors
  • Increasing job satisfaction and performance

Incorporating trauma-informed teaching helps educators:

  • Enhance social and emotional safety in both students and colleagues
  • Prevent vicarious trauma
  • Improve student outcomes

“When CPI talks about managing student behavior, it goes much deeper than student management. It’s about building the character and independence of students, a student’s ability to stay rational rather than emotional, and to be innovative and persistent when presented with challenges,” said Dr. Mabie. “CPI acknowledges that no two students are the same; strategies that work for one student might not work for another. As an educator with years of experience, I appreciate this. CPI doesn’t try to give me a singular philosophy that would guide my future classroom management; instead, it equips me with various tools I can use when interacting with students of any age, helping me get the best out of their unique and diverse personalities.”

Federal COVID relief funding is available to support CPI’s essential training for educators. The grant      requires that at least 20% of these funds be used to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions that respond to students’ academic, social and emotional needs. CPI training for educators meets this requirement.

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To learn more about CPI, visit

About Crisis Prevention Institute:

Crisis Prevention Institute is a world-leading training organization specializing in the safe management of disruptive and assaultive behavior. The Company’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program is embraced worldwide by organizations committed to providing quality care and services in a respectful, safe environment. The strategies taught in the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program provide staff members with an effective framework for decision making and problem solving to prevent, de-escalate, and safely respond to disruptive or assaultive behavior. The philosophy relating to Care, Welfare, Safety, and SecuritySM expands throughout the continuum of interventions that are necessary when working toward reduction or elimination of restraint use.

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