Mental health refers to the emotional, cognitive, and behavioural well-being of an individual. It is all about the individuals’ thought process and how it reflects their feelings and actions. Therefore, students also should be taught about the importance of mental health from the very beginning of their lives.
The importance of mental health for students cannot be overstated. It’s about opening the windows of the mind while ensuring there is peace and tranquillity via mental health. This critical component can ensure that students ace whatever they are good at and learn to have a healthier life based on emotional, psychological, and mental well-being.
According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019, at least 50 million children in India were affected by mental health issues, even before the pandemic. The report estimates that approximately, 80 – 90 percent people do not even sought support on this issue. In India, mental health and conversations around it are yet to take off on a large scale. This is because, students assume that it is not normal to have mental health issues, so they hide their issues or ignore family and friends or deny it when asked.
A student’s formative years of education are marked by many transitional phases. And, as children today are living in an era of the digital world, they have different form of pressure when compared to earlier days. And, when faced with challenges, students are emotionally unprepared and lack the resources to bring balance to their lives.
Now, let’s talk about the importance of mental health for students
Over the years, while school curriculums and pedagogies have evolved, mental health conversations are slowly gaining traction across the world and in India; prioritising thoughts and feelings, articulating negative experiences/emotions, anxiety, fear and other issues are no longer a taboo. Rather they are viewed as an important catharsis to shed emotional burdens and a way to move ahead in life. These conversations must be sparked around children so that they are aware of the fact that it’s completely normal and okay to harbour all types of feelings and that having conversations about them is perfectly normal and acceptable.
This kind of conversation can trigger a healthy mindset in the formative years of the students and when they grow up as adults, they can easily cope and deal with whatever challenge life throws at them.
What are the benefits of good mental health
- Young students learn to be more emotionally expressive, identify their trouble spots and find ways to deal with them.
- Good mental health boosts confidence and self-esteem among the students.
- Students eventually develop a healthier outlook toward life and learn to take every situation into their stride.
- They also develop a solution-oriented mindset further honing their problem-solving skills.
- Mentally happy students have a high chance of leading a well-balanced and happy life as adults.
These are some of the benefits of good mental health.
How can teachers help in ensuring mental well-being amongst students?
Teachers should encourage students to become more vocal about their feelings. Also, mental health counseling is a very important aspect to ensure proper well-being among students. We can normalize conversations around mental health by teaching the young learners to recognize their internal thoughts, and feelings, identify moods and attempt to decipher what and why they are feeling a particular emotion. Realization is the key to everything. Secondly, be non-judgemental and encourage the student to find solutions. Also, offer them a listening ear and make them feel valued as it will boost their self-esteem enormously besides cementing a trust factor.
That’s why we at Genesis Global School take extra care of the students’ mental health so that they don’t just grow academically but personally as well.
Famous poet Mary Angelou once said, “When you know better, you do better”. Therefore, making mental-health conversations an active part of schooling can demolish the stigma around this issue while opening many doors to a healthier life. It can also lead to early detection and intervention of any underlying issues or problems and pave way for a more peaceful life ahead.