School Mental Health Programs: Young Minds Forum

Children and adolescence mark significant transitions in physiological, cognitive, emotional, moral, social, and other domains. Though most youngsters sail through these transitions, some become stressed, which may result in psychological problems. School mental health (SMH) programs have proven efficacy in enhancing psychological well-being of school-going children. The World Health Organization (WHO) also advocates SMH to be an integral part of school health systems, having components of promotion of psychosocial competence, mental health education, and provision of services for those needing mental health interventions.

Current advocacy for School Mental Health in India

In India there's growing realization about the necessity for implementation of SMH. For example, the Central Board of secondary education (CBSE) has emphasized the importance of reducing stress in children and inculcating positive attitude through mental health programs in schools (CBSE, 2008). The CBSE recommends that all secondary and senior secondary schools should employ a counselor and engage in exercises toward building student’s self-concept, self-image, and ability to withstand pressures, as central aspects of the learning process (CBSE, 2008). In fact, the CBSE has made compulsory to include life-skills training in curriculum because it helps the learner to face life with a sense of confidence and conviction (CBSE, 2004). Various studies implicate a high prevalence rate of mental health problems in children and adolescents in India.

Why it is needed in current Era?

As you know, the cases of teenage aggression, depression and behavioral issues are on rise day by day. Every other day, we see/hear the news regarding violence in schools due to teen behavior, anger and depression. This traumatic experience by the society has led to a fear among the parents. The cases of specific learning disorders, mental retardation, dyslexia, ADHD, Autism, behavioral and emotional deregulation, faulty parenting is also on rise. Every year thousands of students drop out from school or have to sit in the home or have to join the inclusive school with special needs, ultimately resulting in depression or stress among parents.

Given the fact that the children are future of nation, we cannot afford our future to sit idle at home or be in a miserable position like at present. This unpleasant situation in the society has led to a fear among the nation leaders. Moreover, the parents in the society have started viewing school with a dilemma regarding the needs of their children.

How Udgam will help you?

We understand that the schools are continuously making efforts to resolve and stabilize these emotional outbursts of the students. There are a few genuine problems that a school has to face like shortage of funds in the school, no or lesser special children enrolment, availability of special educators etc.

Make an association with UDGAM.

To address these concerns and bring about a workable Model- Plan, Our School Mental Health Program “Young Minds Forum” is an endeavor to provide holistic mental health services for the school. This program will offer workshops, training programs and talks at individual and group levels for students, parents, teachers and the school staff. The aim of YMF is to develop a psychologically nurturing channel between the School-Home dyad that is most crucial for children. This program focuses on developing skills for parents, teachers and school staff to notice the warning signs of mental health problems, to be prepared with intervention strategies. Through YMF, positive skills for self-growth, positive parents and more impactful class management strategies will be developed that will be tailor made for the school. The ultimate goal of the program will be to develop mental health programs and intervention pathways within the school so that the school becomes self-sufficient in catering to the mental health needs of its stake holders. In other words, UDGAM would like to create Mental Health Ecosystems for each school.

We, at UDGAM, have a team dedicated to deal with emotional, behavioral and developmental problems of children. UDGAM has a team consisting of well qualified, recognized, and dedicated Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, Special educators, Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist. We have several tie up with schools to promote school mental health program through seminars, workshops, school based therapy, parental counseling.

Along with, we also offer you for association with UDGAM - A Mental Health Care & Rehabilitation Centre for making availability of full time or part time Clinical Psychologist, Special educators, Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist in your school. It will reduce your financial as well as recruitment process, or other responsibilities.