A school is a place for not just technical knowledge but also for mental health awareness, as it is the only single place where a student spends more time other than their own home. Hence, school curriculums should have mental awareness programs as a must.
It is important to understand that both mental health and physical health are equally important. A person with a mental illness may do things that damage their bodies. Also, people with physical health issues may experience mental health disorders. Therefore, it is important to add mental health awareness to the curriculum in today’s education scenario.
Advantages of Mental Health Awareness Programs:
1. Closing the Gap
The modern education system should help the younger generations prepare for the outer world and all the obstacles they might run into.
Without proper awareness, students won’t know how to:
· Recognise the problems faced
· Speak about it
· Get a helping hand
This gap should be closed and the students need to have confidence in dealing with mental health problems.
2. Suicide & Mental Illnesses
Suicide rate is increasing worldwide. Also, studies say that people with mental illness have more probability of committing suicide.
Learning about mental health will make students aware enough:
· About the therapy and how to treat their problem
· To talk about the problem
· To acknowledge that they have a problem
This will lower depression, suicide rates and offer young people a solution other than ending their life. The modern education system needs to adopt the policy of introducing mental health awareness and speaking up about the problems openly, hence removing the stigma around mental health.
3. Early diagnosis
Similar to any other health issue, early diagnosis of mental health issues is important. Teachers need to learn about
· Identifying early signs of mental health issues
· Finding significant changes in behaviours
· Acting potentially at the first sign of a mental health problem
If mental illness is diagnosed in its early stage, there is definitely greater chance of curing it.
4. Social Media Influence
There exist a dark side to social media which not many people talk about. Social media can leave imprints in the minds of the users, especially children. Hence schools must ensure that their students are learning about:
· Self-love and care for others
· Possessing values
· How to speak out their insecurities openly
This will help students in the proper development and prevent them from feeling depressed.
5. Identifying the Cause
Identifying and learning about the causes of stress, depression, or anxiety is important. The education system plays a major part in helping students experiencing mental health stress.
Students feel stressed out due to:
· Pressure from school
· Bullying at school
· Strict teachers
· Higher workload
· Parents’ expectation of higher grades
If through the education system everyone understands what has stressed out the students, then they can eliminate these stress factors and change the atmosphere at school accordingly.