Mental Health Week in classes 6-12

Posted by on Nov 7, 2019 in School News | Comments Off

Our School observed ‘Mental Health Week’ from 16 – 23 October, 2019. On the occasion, the Psychology department at our School organised activities and sessions to increase awareness about mental health and encourage students to start express their emotional problems without fear.

Mental Health Week started off with a poster-making competition. Students of classes 6 to 12 participated in enthusiasm to depict an original thought and a hard-hitting slogan.

On the second day, a session for the students of classes 10 -12 was organised with Mr. Rakshit Tandon, cyber security expert, on the importance of the appropriate use of the internet. He explained its effects on our mental well being. He also offered valuable tips on how to protect our photographs, data and social media accounts from getting hacked. He showed the students and teachers different ways of protecting privacy by enabling a two-factor authentication on their social media and email accounts. There were discussions on the meaning of ethical hacking and how several teenagers have been jailed for hacking bank and social media accounts.

Mr. Tandon told students how to protect their data and connect it to a bigger and much more secure database. He concluded by reiterating that everyone must behave responsibly on the internet. He named free courses and internships available for students, especially teenagers including services in the event they ever got into any problem related with the virtual world.

Class 12 students of Psychology conducted a few sessions of mindfulness meditation. A short poem, which has a calming and soothing effect, was recited using gestures for the students of Pre-primary and Primary classes. Mindfulness meditation allows an individual to focus on the body processes, thoughts and feelings while maintaining a rhythmic breathing pattern. It helps one to acknowledge intrusive thoughts and feelings, forgive oneself for getting distracted and restore one’s attention back to one’s own breathing. Students of classes 6 to 8 reported feelings of a relaxed and calm mind within a few minutes of meditation!

On the third day, problem solving through ‘Circle Time’ was undertaken in the various classes. The teachers discussed problems that students usually face and encouraged the class to solve them. It was very interesting to find students using critical analysis and logical thinking to resolve situations. This one of new ideas used to inculcate life skills in students.

We also organised a photography competition in which students of classes 6 to 12 were encouraged to participate. The topic given to them was ‘Stigma of Mental Health’ and they were asked to present their thoughts through a photograph. Students showed a lot of interest and enthusiasm in that activity. It was a successful event.

On the fourth day, a webinar on mental health with special emphasis on ‘Exam Anxiety’ was conducted by Dr Samir Parikh ( psychiatrist at Fortis Mental Health Care). He is known for the diagnosis and treatment of mental, addictive, and emotional disorders. He began the session by explaining Exam Anxiety and why it occurs. He addressed a lot of queries ranging, for example, how to maximise your learning capacity, how to create a well-balanced exam preparation routine, etc. He shared strategies for effective learning when studying any subject. He introduced a variety of revision techniques- one of them being the use of mnemonics. He imparted information on how to manage anxiety and prepare well for the upcoming examinations. In his words, exams are a part of one’s life and the best possible way to handle anxiety is to take the dreaded exams rather than avoid them.

There are several ‘Stop and Smile’ signs placed at various places at our School. These prompt students and teachers to stop in their tracks and and smile to let go of the stress inside! Smiling is one of the easiest ways to relax instantaneously. The goal of the ‘Stop and Smile’ programme is to make everyone aware of the need to de-stress by smiling a little more frequently every day.

On the fifth day, another programme initiated by the students of Psychology was – ‘You Talk, I Listen’. The students created a safe space for other children to openly talk about any problems bothering them. They got an opportunity to vent their feelings in a non-judgemental and secure environment. The participants were able to empathise with the problems of their peers and even help resolve minor problems such as misunderstandings between close friends. Students felt motivated to share their feelings and have an open discussion. The aim of the programme was to encourage people to start talking openly and more freely about their mental health and well being.

On the last day, the peer educators of our School conducted sessions in various classes to discuss mental health as well as life skills. They tried to correlate the role of life skills with mental well being. The sessions were very interactive and garnered a lot of positivity. The students shared their problems and queries and the peer educators lent support with suggestions and possible solutions.

It was a great learning experience as the students Psychology actively participated to make it a successful event. Also, it was a week which witnessed lots of activities which were very interesting, engaging and enriching too.

Anshika Sharma, XII-C.

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