How to battle kid's mental illnesses!
If you have been actively following the hashtag ‘mental health’ on social media, you might have witnessed a stark contrast in the way people are approaching psychiatric disorders. They are finally feeling brave enough to embrace their battles with mental health conditions, even if they are doing so in hushed voices. However, it does not change the fact that the fear and stigma related to mental health conditions are still intact and prohibit people from reaching out. They simply suffer in silence, instead of seeking help. This is why it is extremely important to start talking about mental illnesses, in the same way, we address physical conditions. Mental health conditions in kids Mental health problems in children need to be dealt with extreme care and caution, just like adults. These can be simple situations like being scared of a particular subject in school to more complex and distressful situations like facing bullying and social anxiety. Since going to therapy and talking to mental-health experts are still considered a taboo, it is crucial that counselling is accessible to children, right in the comfort of their classrooms. Engaging distressed students in a much-needed dialogue in a place where they feel secure will help them process whatever they are undergoing. More importantly, educating children about mental health conditions, right off the bat will enable them to cope with circumstances in an effective manner. Think about it. If a school counsellor intervenes at the right time, it can enhance the effectiveness of the treatment and nip the problem in its bud. Multifaceted benefits of early counselling Children and teenagers these days are often under tremendous pressure of academia, coupled with the desire to lead a ‘LIT’ social life. The rat-race of getting admission in the best college to the rapid growth of technology, which is injecting social media consumption in their veins, the kids need someone to confide in and guide them. After all, hiding behind their smartphone screens, our children are actually tremendously alone. The bottom line According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), only 3 per cent of private schools in India have a dedicated counsellor, in spite of the CBSE guideline making it perfectly clear that it is mandatory for schools to have one. This is startling considering a report by WHO which clearly claims that for every 1 million people, there are just 3 psychiatrists and even fewer psychologists.