The Anxiety Epidemic & Teacher Burnout: What’s the Solution?


In this episode, Chris Leonard talks with two experienced special ed teachers about how teachers can support the growing number of students with mental illness… and how school districts must support teachers. Jessica LaForgia and RJ Laxamana share interventions that teachers and school staff can use to help students succeed and ensure a more productive school day for everyone.

Highlights include:

  • Signs of mental health issues in the classroom
  • Tips for building trust and getting students to open up
  • The importance of understanding the causes behind behavior
  • How teachers can avoid burnout
  • The support and training teachers need from administration


A child in my district was noncompliant throughout his education. When he came to me in high school, I decided, "Let's take a different approach." I tried to understand his family background, why he had these natural tendencies to exhibit these behaviors. I came down to his level. Instead of telling him, "You're doing something wrong," I told him, "Well, you're the only one in control of your behavior. Right?" Then it was giving him the power to understand that he has the ability to control himself and his actions. Now it gets phenomenal: he's an exemplary student and a great role model. Now counseling has been reduced, medication has been reduced, everything has been reduced.“


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Questions? Contact Chris Leonard to learn more about school-based mental health intervention.