Identify Mental health issue : NCERT advices schools to check stress and anxiety levels of kids

With the concern of mental health issues for kids, NCERT is taking steps to check the stress and anxiety issues of kids, and kids will be open to bullying cases, and teachers will empower them.

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Mental health issues are timely identified in schools with the guidelines provided by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). They also advised schools to create a setup for a mental health advisory panel and provide school-based mental health programmes and pedagogical support to ensure the mental health issue’s well-being and engage parents on the same topic.

This survey report launched last week includes exams, results, and peer pressure as among the factors for stress and anxiety among school children.

The guideline says, “Schools generally are seen as spaces where communities of learners have been expected to develop in a safe and secure environment. School management, principals, teachers, other staff, and students all spend around 1/3 of a day and around 220 days in a year in schools across the states and UTs in India. For residential schools, the time spent by a student in the school community is even greater. Therefore, it is the school’s responsibility to ensure the safety, security, health, and well-being of all children in schools and hostels.”

It further discusses that every school should have a mental health advisory. They mention, “It should be chaired by the principal and have teachers, parents, students, and alumni as members. It will create awareness, and also plan and enforce an age and gender-appropriate annual school mental health programme. The schools should have a provision for identifying behavior, substance use, self-harm, depression, and developmental concerns; provide first aid and make appropriate referrals.”

NCERT also recommends this not only to families and parents but also to teachers as they need to understand more about the red flag of mental health issues.

This guideline mentioned that “Teachers must be trained in identifying early signs in students for attachment issues, separation anxiety, school refusal, communication issues, anxiety patterns, depressive states, conduct-related issues, excessive internet use, hyperactivity, intellectual disability, and learning disabilities,” and it further added, “Teachers should talk about bullying cases in class and empower students by educating them regarding bullying. They should provide a confidential way for students to report any incident which is of concern to them.”

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