There is a necessity to address the mental health of the adolescent children studying in the government as well as in the government aided schools in Tamil Nadu.
In this aspect, the TN govt would be introducing a comprehensive mental health programme for the school students in Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram plus in 7 other districts on a pilot basis beginning from January 2023. After the pilot study, the 4 year programme would be extended throughout the state from 2024 onwards.
It is learnt that the school students belonging to classes 9,10,11 and 12 would be taught relaxation methods plus life skill training, games and professional counselling etc. Students with behavioural issues would be given importance and the teachers would be trained in handling these students.
Various activities of the trained teachers:
Twenty five schools in each district in TN would be identified by the chief educational officers to address the behavioural issue in the students. Information collected is that 2 teachers from each school would be trained on mental wellbeing, handling students with emotional challenges, preventing substance abuse and for creating a positive classroom environment etc. This was explained by Mr. J. Shyam Sundar, director of Institute of Social Education oR ISE. It is known that ISE is a non-government organisation and in association with Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan it would set up a district unit with well trained counsellor and a social worker.
The teachers also experience high levels of stress and this would negatively affect the classroom atmosphere. For this, there would be wellness programmes for the teachers too.
Mr. Shyam Sundar later spoke about how the students would be screened before they are enrolled. It is worthy to note that every student must get access to the school counselling services and the students would be taught physical exercises and arts etc. The school counselling servies woud also prevent bullying of the students and child abuse etc. Truth is that from complaints to counselling, the entire process would be kept confidential. To prevent access or sale of drugs etc to the school kids, the teachers would associate with the law enforcement agencies