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What is Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools ?
Mental health is known as an essential factor for overall well-being. In order to work at full capacity, maintain strong and healthy relationships with others, and develop an overall sense of contentment, it is important to maintain good mental health. For students, good mental health and well-being can help them to deal with everyday stressors and challenges such as bullying, discrimination, peer pressure, and stress related to academic aspects.
As schools become important settings for equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies, nurturing and supporting mental and emotional well-being can help provide them achieve the same. Investment and transformation in the aspect of mental health become imperative for the holistic development of the students and it can become a crucial step in reducing the gap between mental health conditions and mental health support.
Despite growing awareness of the impact of mental health and well-being issues, stigma, lack of awareness, denial of mental health conditions, and inadequate support system continues as a deterrent force. If mental health issues remain unattended then these can take the form of serious disorders such as depression, anxiety, etc.
As much of the growing years of children are spent in schools, many children begin to develop concerns related to mental health and well-being during the school-age years. In India, the lack of proper and comprehensive Mental Health and Well-being programs for all types of schools and education systems from rural to urban areas plays an important role in the escalation of poor mental health conditions. To take care of the school-going students in the country it is crucial for schools, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic to recognize, understand, and thus actively engage in promoting positive mental health and well-being among school students. This can be made possible when all partners of school community under the leadership of school administrators come together to create a supportive environment for students.
What is Manodarpan ?
Manodarpan, an initiative of the Ministry of Education (MoE) under “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”, aims to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers, and families for mental health and emotional well being during COVID-19 and beyond.
Some Significant Activities undertaken under Manodarpan
A Webpage has been created on the website of the Ministry of Education. It contains Advisory Guidelines, Handbook on Psychological Support, practical tips, posters, videos, dos and don’ts for psychosocial support and FAQs.
National Toll-free Helpline (8448440632) has been set up for a countrywide outreach to students from schools, colleges and universities, their families and teachers.
Live interactive sessions are being organized with experts, teachers, counsellors and students to address various mental health and emotional well-being concerns of students, parents and teachers and for promoting positive mental health.
i) ‘SAHYOG’ sessions, held daily (Monday to Friday), are telecast through PM e- Vidya Channels and ‘NCERT Official’ YouTube Channel.
ii) ‘Paricharcha’ Webinars, held every Friday, are telecast on PM e-Vidya Channels and ‘NCERT Official’ YouTube Channel.
An online Directory of counsellors (approx. 350 counsellors) both at School and University levels.
Mental Health Survey was conducted on 3,79,842 students of different school types across the country to explore the perceptions of students on their Mental Health. The report was released on 6th September, 2022.
Modular Handbook on Early Identification and Intervention for Mental Health Problems. The Handbook was released on 6th September, 2022.
Under Manodarpan, several initiatives are taken to support students’ well-being. One such initiative is the ‘National Conference on Mental Health and Well-being in Schools and Role of School Administrators’. As school heads are seen as important stakeholders in planning and implementing various initiatives in school systems it is important to sensitize, update and orient them about the various mental health issues and initiatives.
About the National Conference on Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools and Role of School Administrators
The school education system in India is multi-layered, with ownership lying at three levels: Central government, State government, and Private players. Each has its own unique characteristics, needs and policies for achieving the aim of holistic development.
Students spend not only a significant number of years in schools but also metaphors from a child to an adult. School as an institution helps not only in acquiring knowledge but also in learning personal-social skills.
As children spend around 6 hours a day in school, it becomes the ideal place for helping the students and providing prevention and intervention which will lead to their positive development. It is the need of the hour for schools to support the rising mental health issues of students.
The head of the school plays a major role in providing a conducive environment, ensuring the all-round development of the students and preparing them for leading a healthy and responsible life beyond the school years. To develop a positive school climate, a whole-school approach can help the administration to ensure appropriate implementation of planned interventions. The whole school approach gives continuity and support to activities. It works as a reinforcement for the staff and motivates them. Therefore, school administrators play a significant role.
‘World Mental Health Report’ (WHO, 2022) declared that around 8% of the world’s young children between the age group of 5-9 yrs and 14% of the world’s adolescents (10-19 yrs) have mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc. The findings highlight the need to sensitize the school administrators to create school environment that support and nurture mental well-being of students. Administrators as decision makers and guardians of the system have the powers and resources to implement the approach for better outcomes.
OBJECTIVES of the Conference
To create awareness among School Administrators and other stakeholders regarding Mental Health and Well-being of Students.
To promote functioning of School Administrators as Mental Health leaders.
THEMES FOR THE CONFERENCE
CONTACT US / Helpline
Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Bhopal Shyamala Hills Bhopal -462013 Phone : +91-755-2661463 E-mail: [email protected]