School teachers will be trained to identify mental health problems in students | Latest India News


The Center is set to launch a program where teachers will be trained to identify warning signs of stress and mental health issues in students and provide them and their families with the necessary support. . The Ministry of Labor Education has set up an 11-member committee to develop the content of the training over the next three months.

The officials said the teacher training program will be carried out under the ministry’s ‘Manodarpan’ initiative which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July last year to provide support to students during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. The training will be delivered in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

An official from the ministry’s school education and literacy department said the “psychosocial needs” of children and young people, aged 15 to 24, have been compromised by the Covid-19 pandemic. “This has highlighted mental health and well-being concerns with even greater prominence…Schools play an important role in children’s lives and can therefore play a pivotal role in improving the nature and scope mental health interventions, address problems early and, in doing so, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.Therefore, there is a need to develop school-based interventions that can reduce risk factors and promote mental health and the welfare of children and adolescents,” said the official, who did not wish to be named.

Read also: School reopening: how parents should mentally prepare children

According to a 2005 study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 12-13% of Indian students suffer from emotional, behavioral and learning problems such as anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and tendencies suicidal, among others. In the same way,

The State of the World’s Children report published this year by Unicef ​​indicates that mental health disorders in children and young people remain mostly undiagnosed, as most of them are reluctant to seek a support or treatment.

“The early childhood years are the foundational years and are critical periods for human development. Any event that occurs during this time has a lasting effect on academic, social, emotional, and behavioral success in adulthood. The majority of mental disorders occur during the transition period from childhood to young adulthood, with up to 1 in 5 people suffering from a clinically relevant mental health problem before the age of 25,” said the responsible.

Another ministry official said the idea is to sensitize and make teachers aware of all available interventions so that they can help students. “Overall, the program would aim to educate teachers and staff on identifying characteristics, behaviors, symptoms and assistance required for identified mental illnesses/problems. The goal is to promote social and emotional competence and build resilience in children. Overall, we aim to create and ensure a positive and safe school environment for all students,” the official said, adding that teachers will work in collaboration with counsellors, special educators and mental health professionals. .

The 11-member committee that will develop the content of the training will be chaired by a psychiatrist and a member of the Manodarpan Task Force Dr. Jitendra Nagpal. The program should start before the next academic session.


    Fareeha Iftikhar is Senior Correspondent in the National Political Bureau of the Hindustan Times. She follows the Ministry of Education and covers the beat nationally for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different political issues.
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