Role of schools in sensitizing mental health and well-being of students

10:00 AM Nov 25, 2023 | Team Udayavani |

Traditionally viewed as academic institutions, schools play a far more significant role than merely imparting knowledge. They are foundational in shaping a child’s perception of the world, self-worth, and mental resilience. There’s a pressing need to discuss an essential aspect of mental health which is – The role of schools in promoting and nurturing the psychological well-being of students.


The School Environment and Its Impact

Schools play a very significant role in imparting the well-being of the students and individuals. The environment within schools can either nurture or hinder a student’s mental well-being. A supportive and understanding ecosystem fosters self-confidence, encourages self-expression, and imbues a sense of belonging in children. Schools, therefore, carry a profound responsibility to ensure they create a space where every student feels seen, heard, and valued.

Integrating Mental Health into Curriculum

To truly prioritize mental health, it needs to be embedded in the school curriculum. This means going beyond the occasional seminar or workshop. Lessons on emotional intelligence, handling peer pressure, conflict resolution, and stress management can equip students with the tools they need to navigate the challenges of adolescence and beyond. It is vital that schools help children of all ages, supporting them to build their conscience from an age group, as early as 4 years to 15 years. Schools also need to explore various topics that can enhance social-emotional Well-being, build self-confidence, and develop Self-esteem in children that would help them to undertake any difficult task with better insight and perception in the future.


Training Educators and Staff

Teachers and school staff are on the frontlines, interacting with students daily. They are often the first to notice changes in a student’s behavior, mood, or academic performance, hence it is essential that the support staff handle children with equality and effectively. By training educators to recognize the signs of mental distress and providing them with resources to address and refer to these issues, schools can take a proactive stance in safeguarding their students’ mental well-being.

School-Parent Partnership

Hosting parent workshops and engaging in one-on-one sessions to address parental concerns while encouraging their active participation in molding their child’s behavior and personality, further enriches the developmental process. This holistic approach ensures that the positive effects of education permeate throughout the entire educational ecosystem. A supportive and understanding ecosystem can foster self-confidence, encourage self-expression, and imbue a sense of belonging.

Creating Safe Spaces

Schools must prioritize creating safe spaces where students can express their concerns, fears, and anxieties without judgment. This could be in the form of dedicated counseling rooms, peer-led support groups, or open forums. The mere presence of such spaces can be reassuring to students, knowing they have a place to turn to when needed. Enabling a safe learning environment helps in regulating social, and emotional skills and capabilities that promote life-long mental health, and problem-solving skills that help in creating a sense of autonomy and purpose.

Schools to spearhead the crucial mission of Mental Wellness

Mental health is as crucial as physical health, if not more, especially during the formative years of a child’s life. Schools, being the second home for many students, have a pivotal role in shaping and nurturing their mental well-being.

Further, the schools following mandatory well-being sessions for students, teachers, parents, and the involved school staff will definitely provide better insight and perspective to all building a safe space for all. By integrating mental health awareness into curriculum, training staff, and creating safe spaces, schools can ensure that they are not just producing academically brilliant students, but also emotionally resilient and mentally healthy individuals.


Authored by Archana Padhye, Head of Department, Special Education Needs & Counselling, Orchids The International School

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