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How Important is it to Include Mental Health Education in School Curriculums in 2021?

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As students our mental health plays an integral role in determining our ability to grasp new concepts, take in new information, hone new skills and directly affects the durability of attention span during online lectures. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to education being shifted to online lectures during which students have experienced increased anxiety to submit home assignments, external pressure to maintain grades, and a decrease in their overall mental immunity. 

“Mental health” till date is an issue in India that is stigmatized and brushed under the carpet. India has one of the world’s largest suicide rates for school going children where there is fear and stigma associated with matters related to mental health such as depression, parental pressure, and spotlight anxiety to perform well in tests. 

Should the Indian education system make mental health lectures mandatory for students?

The Indian Education System is scrutinized for its rigorous and unrealistic expectations that focus on quantitative learning, tiresome hours, and the imposition of a curriculum that curbs the child’s creativity. With the typical narrow-minded mindset of Indian parents of grades being a marker of a child’s intelligence the students are a victim to deteriorating mental health conditions. 

Creativity and self-growth is the need of the hour in the educational system. This can be achieved by mental health education that ease the stigma around anxiety and depression and encourage students to share their thoughts in an open and safe environment.

Benefits of Mental Health education in Schools

mental health education benefits in school programs
Benefits of Including Mental Health Education in School Curriculums
  1. Mental health education increases awareness. Students will be more prone to understanding the concept of self-care and wellbeing. They will be encouraged to look after their own health care  and understand their health is in their own hands
  2. Children will be well equipped in recognizing the mental health disorders and the symptoms one experiences. They can therefore be more proactive and detect their problems at an early stage. Early intervention can make a world of a difference. 
  3. They will have an exposure to strategies and tools to cope with mental health challenges which would allow them to develop problem-solving skills
  4. Mental health education can destigmatize the fear and anxiety related to mental health disorders. Through education we can aim to normalize mental illness and promote conversations around the stigma to diminish the fear once and for all.

Also published on Medium.

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