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Schools in Mumbai Launch Mental Health Cells to help Students that Suffered Mentally during the Pandemic

In India, mental health has long been a taboo subject, since we are encouraged to suppress our emotions and sentiments in order to appear as normal as possible in front of others. The month of May is designated as Mental Health Awareness Month around the world to combat the stigma associated with mental illness.

Mental Health Awareness Month

In India, the month of May is designated as Mental Health Awareness Month. This campaign began in 1949 in the United States to raise public awareness of mental health. However, mental health is not only a problem in the United States; it is a global issue. Even in the twenty-first century, people still regard mental health as a societal taboo. According to a survey conducted by LISSUN- a mental and emotional wellness startup, 70% of patients in India visit professionals only when they have reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional disorder.

Initiative by the Schools of Mumbai

In this month, in order aid the students suffering from various mental health issues caused due to COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the schools in Mumbai are launching dedicated mental health cells.
Schools are currently working out last-minute strategies to set up these specific cells, along with other preparations. The general consensus among schools is that a two-year stretch of online education may have wired some students differently, and that readjusting to offline classes may take time. While some schools have created new departments to monitor kids’ mental health, others are enhancing efforts that already existed in some form or another. Let us look at some of these schools and their initiatives.

1. Orchids International

Orchids International has established a “Soch” wing, which includes more than 40 counsellors from various divisions who conduct workshops, seminars, and study groups with students of all grades. “Our Special Educators and Counsellors have received specialised training in order to work with students with these requirements. Teachers are being educated to not just recognise indicators of mental distress, but also to respond quickly. Aside from these interventions, the school will place a greater emphasis on students’ socio-emotional well-being and will make every effort to make the transition as seamless and adaptable as possible “Orchids The International School’s HOD – Counselling and Special Needs, Ms. Bethsheba Sheth, said.
“Parents are also encouraged to reach out to our counsellors if they may need one-to-one guidance,” she added.

2. Birla Open International School

The Birla Open International School will continue to provide training sessions for educators on how to deal with student problems, whether they be psychological, emotional, or physical. “Teachers are taught to be compassionate as well as skilled listeners. Members of the Student Council join together with teachers in this mission to assist kids who are lacking in confidence, communication, company, and encouragement “Paanchali Dasgupta Sahu, Principal, Birla Open Minds International School, LB Nagar, expressed her thoughts.
“The Self-Esteem sessions are organized wherein Guest Lectures are conducted from time to time. The students are taught to accept setbacks and try again. There is a Counselling Committee, comprising teachers and some senior Student Council members, which defines its annual goals for the areas of Mental Health and then strategizes its path of action, ” she added.

3. EuroSchool

The Centre of Well-Being at EuroSchool is a dedicated cell. The purpose is to provide emotional and psychological support to students, professors, staff, and administration on all Indian campuses. “It comprises a series of power-packed initiatives aimed at fostering the well-being of our students, staff, teachers, and our parents,” said Ms. Sachu Ramalingam, Lead Inclusive Education & Counselling – EuroSchool.
This year these initiatives will take on a fresh approach to look at students post the pandemic. “This includes a counselling helpline and professional school counselors to facilitate one on one counseling sessions throughout the year. Regular virtual meditation sessions are conducted. Free medical advice and check-ups are also provided by renowned doctors, through which students, their parents, and all the school staff are benefitted.”
She further added, “We are also focusing on a student-led peer counselling support system supervised by the school counselors called “Respecting Individuality” on each campus. To advocate that taking care of your mental health is as normal as caring for your physical health. Our teams are studying the earlier patterns to ensure efforts in 2022-2023 are well directed and even more impactful to our students, parents, and staff.”