In light of the growing mental health-related difficulties, Modern English School, Guwahati, launched a mental health counselling division to help students deal with various emotional and psychological concerns. The team associated with the division will also guide the students in determining how to handle stress, and make healthy choices.The school administration felt the need for mental health counselling due to rising cases of stress and anxiety among students, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The worldwide data suggest that one out of every ten children suffers from mental health issues at the current time. Anxiety, conduct disorder, and depression are common issues that bother them and affect their academic performance directly.
On the same occasion, the school also launched a career counseling division with Mumbai-based coaching and test preparation institute, Inspirus Education.
Rev Fr Joseph Thelekkatt will head the mental health division of the school. The former principal of Don Bosco School, Guwahati, and Director of Navaprerona- Psycho-Spiritual Counselling Services will serve as a Chief Advisor of the Modern English School Counselling Division. He will be supported by Ms. Dorothy Deka, Clinical Psychologist, Ms. Dhriti KalitaCounsellor and Ms. Debahuti Bhattacharyya, Health & Wellness faculty.
The mental health issue programs launched by the school aims to help students deal with everyday stress and strike a balance between academic and personal life. The counselling will be provided to the students of class 5 onwards. Under the mental health counselling initiative various individual and therapy sessions will be conducted. Counsellors will visit each class as a part of class-observation activity. Special sessions with Father Thelekkatt will be held to empower students to meet the challenges arising from the stress and strain of daily life. The session topics are shared by MES students for better understanding of their problems.
Commenting on the need for mental health and career counseling sessions, Mrs. Jonali Das, Principal, Modern English School, Guwahati, said, “Unaddressed mental health issues may long-term affect students. It can pose a serious barrier to their social and educational development. Providing the right guidance at the right stage can help them maintain a balance between academics and personal life. It would also prepare them for the challenges ahead in the future. The need for mental health counseling is even more essential at the current time due to the COVID-led pandemic, which has increased the issues of stress and anxiety among students.”
“In terms of career, due to the availability of numerous courses related to different fields, it can be complex for the students to make the right choice. The career counseling session provided by the team of experts from Inspirus Education will help them choose the most suitable course according to their area of interest and preferences. Furthermore, by incorporating mental health and career counselling in the school curriculum, we intend to enable them to manage their emotions correctly,” she added.
Stressing the need for mental health counselling sessions for students at the current time, Rev Fr Joseph Thelekkatt said, “When it comes to mental health, there are many stigmas attached to it that prevent or delay the process of availing professional assistance as and when needed. It is essential to understand that taking care of one’s mental health is as important as physical health. The daily academic rigour as well as socioeconomic pressures can be quite overwhelming for the students. As a result, many students develop stress, anxiety, conduct, emotional and eating disorders that might lead to depression and self-harm. Providing the right guidance and emotional support at the initial phase can help them cope with this mental anguish and distress and channel their energies in the right direction.”
Speaking on the collaboration, AbhinavGogoi, Vice President, Business Development and Outreach at Inspirus Education, said, “We, at Inspirus Education, believe that learning and skilling should never stop, no matter the circumstances and all that are engaged with education must imbibe a child-like enthusiasm for learning. This is important for our children’s futures in this ever-changing world! Modern English School, ably led by Mrs. Jonali Das and her team of educators, has integrated this philosophy into its curriculum. We are excited to be a part of this engaging journey.”
Under the career counselling initiative, the students and the parents can access Inspirus Education from June 2022 to March 2023. The counselling program, divided into three stages, aims to guide students in finding the right career path. Experts appointed under the division will conduct sessions at the school premises every Friday in which they will interact with the students from classes 8 to 12 in groups and individually. They will help them identify the best career prospects, explore the universities, and understand the admission process.