School mental health
Changing trends in school health
The practice of ‘School Mental Health’ has taken significantly innovative dimensions today. Wellness for children at school is extending beyond mere physical care and concern of the child while in the school premises. It encompasses the creation of social and environmental scenarios that contribute to psychological and intellectual development in the child. Schools have a mammoth contribution in assuring holistic wellness. Understandably so, in the recent past, there has been an increasing emphasis on the host of possibilities that schools are providing to assure the overall advancement of their students. Evidence states that one in 5 children and adolescents experiences the signs and symptoms of a diagnosable psychological condition in school each year, thereby contributing to disruption in schools, poor school performance and decreased passing rates in children.
Children attend school on the premise of paramount trust and utmost faith that they will be absolutely cared for. Schools do take that responsibility seriously and thus provide the best they can for their children. The contribution by administrators, supervisors and teachers, is noteworthy. At the same time, professionals in mental health like child counselors, psychologists, educators and psychiatrists, can partake in the betterment of the child’s overall progress and growth in the essential formative childhood years. Providing a full continuum of socio-emotional health includes training on appropriate life skills, aggression and anger control, dealing with frustration, enhancing study skills, combating adolescent turmoil, making appropriate career choices, avoiding harmful and risky behaviors and building appropriate relationships. School is the best place to inculcate these skills since children spend a chink of their childhood in school!
Need of the hour
The foundational childhood years are the most important because they have enduring effects on one’s personality and outlook. A third of the entire volume of these significant formative years is spent in school. It becomes a moral responsibility for the school to ensure the appropriateness of direction that the child’s mind takes at this time. Although there is enough activity in most schools, there is always scope and need for more. Sadly efforts to advance mental health service in schools often get hampered by competing initiatives and agendas.
What we can offer
MINDFRAMES aims to establish comprehensive and multifaceted approaches to help schools metamorphose into caring and supportive places that maximize learning and overall well-being of students. Empowering parents, teachers and the children goes full circle in assuring a safe and enriching learning experience. If positive psychological wellness becomes a focus and responsibility of the school, it would help generate stronger students, happier families, and a successful nation at large.