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DPS Kamptee Road
Mind Matters

14 Nov 2023

Mind Matters: Exploring the Importance of Mental Health for Students

Normalizing mental health conversations in school is a very important part of making sure that students are supported and have a safe and comfortable environment when they are struggling with their mental health. It means that teachers, staff members, and parents can work together to create a safe space for students to talk about how they are feeling and what’s going on in their lives. Mental health enables us to grow as self-aware beings and helps us build resilience to process and cope with things that bother us. So we could cater to ourselves more and understand our traumas, triggers, or the things which are affecting us. They’re also ensuring that the students know that, they’re strong, even if going through lows, and not this as a pressure to be strong, but to tell them it’s fine to feel phased out, to feel vulnerable, to take breaks, and that they’re already doing their best they can. Also, we are admirable at our lows too.

Normalizing mental health conversations in schools is necessary for a safe and supportive learning environment for students. Students' lives are full of changes, and they are doing their best to cope with them daily. Things that affect them include friendships, body image issues, family issues, not being able to cope with academic stress, negative environment, peer pressure and new challenges which come their way as they grow up.

At DPS Kamptee Road, we know how important mental health is and are working hard towards improving the students’ mental health through various workshops, sessions and activities. For these students, schools have started using various psychology worksheets for students, which help them to understand more about themselves and to understand the difference in their problem between reality and misconceptions. The students are asked not to write their names on the sheets, so it could be anonymous but it also could help them out in letting things out. The more they write and expressed themselves in these worksheets, the more schools can help them with their mental health. We have also started brain gym activities for the preschool, to make them aware of emotions and help them understand the concept of mental health.

For normalizing mental health conversation in schools Here are some steps that can be used for it:

1. Create a Way of Openness and Acceptance: It is important to create a space where students and teachers can talk openly and honestly about mental health without fear of judgment or stigma. This can be done by encouraging dialogue and actively listening to students’ concerns.

2. Educate Students and Staff about Mental Health: Providing education about mental health can help reduce stigma and increase understanding. This can include workshops, presentations, and other resources that provide information on mental health disorders and how to recognise warning signs.

3. Provide Mental Health Resources: Students should be made aware of the resources available to them if they are struggling with mental health issues. This can include school counselors, mental health professionals, and crisis hotlines.

4. Integrate Mental Health into the Curriculum: Teachers can incorporate mental health topics into the curriculum, such as discussing stress management techniques or the impact of mental health on overall health and wellbeing.

5. Encourage Self-Care: Schools can encourage self-care practices, such as mindfulness and meditation, and provide resources to support students in developing these practices.

6. Foster Peer Support: Peer support can be a powerful tool in normalizing mental health conversations. Schools can create peer support groups or designate students as mental health advocates to provide support and resources to their peers.

Addressing mental health in a holistic manner is crucial because mental health is interconnected with other aspects of our lives. Our physical health, nutrition, sleep patterns, and social support systems can all have an impact on our mental health. Therefore, we must prioritize promoting healthy habits, fostering a sense of community and belongingness, and providing support for students who may be struggling with mental health issues. By addressing mental health in a holistic manner, schools can create a safe and supportive environment that recognizes the importance of mental health and encourages students to prioritize their well-being.

Overall, normalizing mental health conversations in schools requires a concerted effort from everyone. By creating an environment of openness and acceptance, educating students and staff, providing resources, integrating mental health into the curriculum, encouraging self-care, and fostering peer support, schools can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and promote a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.

The school isn’t just about academic growth, it also should lead to mental growth, that’s why our school conducts activities for normalizing mental health and conversation about it, hoping the students feel safe and comfortable and could share their thoughts and get better with help of the school.

Mehzareen Sheikh (Special Educator) Bableen Vij (School Counselor)