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INCULCATING MENTAL HEALTH CARe

IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTES

Mental Health pertaining to children has always been an essential concern for parents as well as health professionals. According to WHO approximately 10 – 20 % of children and adolescents experience mental health concerns. A widespread lack of awareness of mental health leads to an absence of language we can use to speak about our psychosocial concerns, or vocalize a demand for mental health services.

In order to promote the early identification and redressal of mental health issues, such as stress, depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, psycho-educational interactive workshops with students, teachers and school counsellors are highly effective. This also works to encourage help seeking behavior and work towards reducing the stigma around mental health in the community. Manas has formed associations with several academic institutions across Delhi-NCR, undertaking preventive and promotive mental health related programs.We seamlessly blend mental health curriculum into the academic curricula through various modalities ranging from direct intervention, research as well as a workshop-based interactive curriculum.

Counseling Services at

Dyal Singh College

Manas Foundation has been running a Mental Health Programme for Dyal Singh College since April, 2014. The work in Dyal Singh entails to conduct one on one counseling sessions with the students to assist them in the process of resolving their interpersonal conflicts and adaptively coping with the different challenges and stressors they might encounter during young adulthood. One of the psychologists from the team visits the college weekly to aid the students in these processes. The psychologist also helps the students and teachers understand the importance of preventive, promotive and positive mental healthcare. In the academic year of 2019-2020  we worked with approximately 63 students. Additionally we continued to display attractive IEC material across the campus such as posters which focused on different mental health concerns and strategies students can implement in their daily lives to manage these concerns.

Mental health services for
Mental Health Curriculumfor School Students

Manas Foundation’s mental health school curriculum entails conducting regular interactive workshops with students held multiple times over the academic year. These workshops use interactive media such as audio-visual material and activity-based learning to address key themes relevant to psycho-socio-emotional health of specific age groups. These grade-specific themes are incorporated into a comprehensive academic curriculum that can be customized to fit the needs and concerns being experienced by the children in each specific institute. A long-term engagement with students to address these concerns allows them to build on personal and collective insights through each successive interaction. Students have expressed positive feedback with regard to the workshop; consistently stating its relevance to their personal and academic lives. It has not only been well-received by the students but the other stakeholders as well. During the pandemic  as schooling moved to a virtual mode of learning, Manas Foundation adapted and conducted online workshops over the platform of Google Meet, students shared an online safe space with Manas Foundation and the workshops emerged to be deeply engaging.

Some of our partners in this approach are/have been:

Sanskriti School

Amity International Schools

The Air force School

The Mothers’ International School

Sardar Patel Vidyalaya

Gyan Bharti School

 

Mental health services for Adhyan Public School

At the start of 2019/2020, Adhyan Public School based out of Kapashera reached out to Manas to provide mental health interventions within their premises for their students. The school caters to children from low income families and values the impact that mental health services can have on their overall development and progress. Our psychologist visits the premises on a weekly basis and conducts group workshops, individual counseling sessions as well as IQ Assessments for children in close coordination with the school management.

Training programme with School Counsellors

Several schools now have in-house counsellors that are deployed to help students manage psychosocial concerns. This is a major step in the direction of providing specialized and professional mental health services that are technically equipped to deal with students’ mental health needs and concerns. However, school counsellors often report a need for capacity building, case supervision and peer reviews.

In our extensive work with school students, we have developed training modules and hands-on curricula for school counsellors and mental health professionals working with children and adolescents. In 2016  An in depth training programme for newly inducted Guest Counsellors in Delhi Government Schools was also initiated in association with UNFPA, the Directorate of Education GNCTD, and SCERT.  During this  programme a 5 day  training was facilitated with 160 newly inducted counsellors, via a covering specific sub themes pertaining to counselling school children.

Capacity Building of Teachers 

The training we undertake with school teachers adopts an interactive workshop-based methodology, including multimedia resources, role plays, case discussions and peer mentoring. Our trainings are activity-based, allowing the teachers and staff to experientially understand their role in creating an enabling environment within which students’ feel safe and cared for. Some of the themes on which we conduct teacher trainings include:

  • Children protection
  • Children’s mental health needs and concerns
  • Adolescent psychology
  • Identifying developmental concerns in young children
  • Mental health awareness
  • Creating positive classrooms
  • Student diversity
  • Stress management for teachers
  • Orientation to career counselling

 

Awareness Programmes for Academic institutes 

Mental health awareness is an imperative first step to develop clarity about our own and others’ psycho-social and emotional needs, and work towards a more holistic sense of well-being. Propagation of myths around mental health further the stigmatization and reduce help seeking behavior on part of the affected. 

To target this, since its inception, Manas Foundation has worked relentlessly to raise evidence-based mental health awareness amongst academic institutions through workshops, campaigns, action-research and advocacy.

Under one of our initiatives, in 2016, The Live Love Laugh Foundation, an organization founded by actor Deepika Padukone, approached Manas Foundation to become their implementing partner for school mental health workshops in Delhi. Over two years of partnership (2016-2017, and 2017-2018), Manas conducted workshops on mental health awareness at more than 200 schools in Delhi/NCR, reaching out to approximately 24,000 students and 7,000 teachers.

Research om Mental Health and Well Being in Children

Manas Foundation has undertaken research on understanding mental health and well-being needs and concerns of students and children, along with researching the interventions in place to address these needs. The objectives, methods and outcomes of these research programmes have been oriented towards mapping, developing and advocating for enabling access of systematic mental health services to children, students and teachers for strengthening the overall academic system.

Study of School Counselling Services in Delhi Government Schools with UNFPA

In the academic year 2015-2016, the UNFPA commissioned Manas Foundation to undertake a ‘Study of School Counselling Services’ in Delhi Government Schools. It’s an in-depth qualitative study of the current status of the counselling mechanism as understood from the perspectives of all the stakeholders involved: counsellors, students, principals and teachers, as well as the Directors of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and the EVGC Bureau as heads of the relevant overseeing bodies.

Action research on the mental health issues of urban disadvantaged youth

The research aimed at Mapping the happiness barometers of youth (or their levels of hope, aspirations, enthusiasm, and ambition) on a specially-constructed scale. It identified their unique psychological enablers and barriers to positive identity and leadership building. Analyzed the discrimination and stigma experienced in public spaces and its repercussion on their mental health. It also outlined the correlation between identity, self-concept, mental health, gender, well-being and leadership. Along with mapping concrete mechanisms for strengthening the capacities of urban disadvantaged youth for coping with, and responding to, stigma and discrimination, both in their external and internal worlds.We completed our total sample size of 500 youth population from 10 different NGOs all over Delhi NCR.