- Experts contend that policies and programs that foster mental health awareness at school should be made mandatory.
- They have suggested ways in which school based mental health programs can better the physical and mental health of students.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health involves our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is not merely the absence of mental disorders, but also our ability to meet our full potential, cope with everyday stress, and develop healthy relationships.
Students’ Mental Health And Well-being
Most mental illnesses typically develop in the years 15–17, affecting people’s quality of life, physical health, and social relationships in the long run. But, they do not seek help until adulthood.
Mental Health Awareness At School
Schools can play an important role in raising mental health awareness for students and halting the progression of mental illnesses by early intervention.
A well-put-together multidisciplinary program headed by teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, students, and school counselors can ensure effective mental health delivery to students. This team should work to:
- Equip teachers with mental health resources
- Recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness in students
- Organize workshops to raise awareness about mental health
- Create an open-door policy for students with school counselors
- Formulate strict anti-bullying policies
- Introduce stress management and mindfulness programs for students, teachers, their families, etc.
- Conduct skill-building workshops and programs
- Encourage physical and outdoor activities
- Encourage creative and community-building activities
- Strengthen social and community behavior at school
Recent studies show that mental health disorders that have their onset in schooling years comprise a leading cause of death in India. Children and adolescents spend their major developmental years at school and so there is no better place than a school for improving their mental health.