Mental Health Week activities across the classes, 5-12 October, 2020

Posted by on Oct 27, 2020 in School News | Comments Off

Our School observed ‘Mental Health Week’ from 5 to 12 October 2020. The department of Psychology organised activities, programmes and sessions to raise awareness about mental health and encourage talking more on the subject.

The activities planned for the week were poster making, slogan writing, jingle making, essay writing and story telling sessions. Students across the classes were involved in these activities.

Classes 9 to 12 were given a chance to express their views by taking part in events like poster making, essay writing and jingle making. The themes for poster making were ‘Overcoming social stigma in mental health care’, ‘Happy online learning during COVID 19 & beyond’ and ‘Celebrating adolescence in changing times’. To share their opinions on mental health issues, they were given a chance to write essays on themes like promoting ‘Positive mental health in schools’, ‘Helping children during COVID 19 and Beyond’ and ‘ Enriching 21st century skills in young children’. Since music always helps to relax the mind, a chance was given to students to compose a jingle (thematic video) on a bunch of themes like ‘ Empowering India for socio emotional well being’, ‘ Happy childhoods’-happy India’, ‘Learning to deal with the psychosocial impact of the pandemic’ and ‘ Impact of social media on positive mental health’. The students very enthusiastically took part in the same.

The young students of classes 8-9 were also given an opportunity to express themselves in a slogan writing activity. The themes for the same were ‘Smile’ and ‘Kindness’. Teachers from classes 1-8 conducted story telling sessions highlighting the different aspects of mental well being. Questions were posed by the teachers to enable students to reflect upon the different aspects of mental well being in the story. Linkages with the students’ daily life were also established to help create awareness. Some of the stories that were told were – Be happy (story of a girl named Eva who tries to remain happy even in adverse situations of life) and My strong mind (story of a girl named Kate and her journey to developing a strong mind).

In some of the classes, the teachers shared stories of famous personalities like Yash Gandhi ( a 21 year old young boy who was clinically diagnosed with cerebral palsy and dyslexia, but managed to secure admission at IIM, Lucknow) and Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee Deepa Malik (who was diagnosed with a spinal tumor at the age of 31).

Two interactive sessions were also planned for the students. On 7 October, a session on emotional fitness was conducted by International Coaching Federation- approved personality transformation and emotional fitness coach Ms Shaikh Uzma Jamal. It was attended by students of classes 10-12. Ms Jamal began the session by talking about the importance of emotional fitness along with physical fitness. An interesting and interactive activity was also conducted by her, which aimed at checking the level of emotional fitness. A brief insight on the importance of mindfulness to help increase attention span was also talked about during the session. The students showed a lot of interest in the session and the activities conducted by the resource person.

A session on ‘Resilience’ was conducted on 14 October 2020 by Ms Akshita Bardwaj, Mumbai based teacher of Psychology and counseling psychologist. This session was organised for the students of classes 8 and 9. After sharing the deep meaning of the theme and its importance in one’s life, she shared a few examples of her own life, citing incidents of resilience. Her anecdotes not only raised the students’ level of interest but also helped in forming a rapport. It was followed by an understanding of the difference between resilience and fragility. The speaker also discussed a few strategies to help become resilient. Ms Bardwaj spent considerable time answering the queries of the students like ‘how to handle a situation where we feel extremely angry’, ‘what to do when we feel extremely helpless and in the middle of nowhere’ and ‘what to do when we face an identify crisis?’.

10 peer educators of our school from classes 9-12 were also given an opportunity to attend a session on positive mental health and well being organised by Expressions India, an initiative of Dr Jitendra Nagpal (Psychiatrist, Moolchand Medicity). The session was conducted on 10 October. The chief guest at the event was Dr Joseph Emmanuel ( Director academics, CBSE). Dr Emmanuel talked about how mental health is interpreted subjectively and explained the role of government authorities in dealing with the mental health concerns of the general public. He also shared a few strategies used by them to do so. The teachers and students too shared their opinions on the same. Games and interactive activities were also a part of the session. Mental health as a topic was talked about in great detail.

The entire week was abuzz with activities and students were encouraged to share their feelings and have an open discussion. It was a great learning experience too.

Ryan Suri, Head Boy.

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