Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Teach For India & Aatma Prakash Foundation Organises “Child Safety Week” With An Emphasis On Student’s Mental Health

* Teach For India & Aatma Prakash mental health foundation will be conducting immersive Mind Care workshops where students will get the opportunity to improve their emotional recognition, expression, and management 

To celebrate children’s day and put the spotlight on children’s mental health, Teach for India in collaboration with Aatma Prakash mental health foundation is organising a ‘Child Safety Week’ till 19th November, where students will experience a safe space to enhance their emotional identification, expression, and management through an hour-long experiential Mindcare session. The sessions will be held both offline and online for students from Grade 6 and above across all Teach for India partner schools in 8 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata 

According to UNICEF, over 50% of all mental health problems start before the age of 14.  A 2014 IJMR finding further states that 50% of the 356 million youth in India are struggling with mental health challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought multiple challenges which had mental health repercussions for everyone, including children and adolescents. Uncertainty, increased screen time, social isolation, and parental fatigue all have negatively impacted a child’s mental health. Moreover, children who have spent most of their time with their parents are now facing separation anxiety making the transition back to school more difficult. The Mindcare sessions that will be held during the child safety week are aimed at addressing these pertinent issues affecting children in their learning routine. 

Teach for India has always been at the forefront of adopting innovative ways to ensure that all children can get an excellent education. Even during the lockdown, they ensured that a large portion of their students were able to continue their education through blended learning. As schools have started fully functioning, Teach For India is working towards creating an environment where children feel nurtured and eager to learn with their peers. Their Fellows are working relentlessly to address any grievances of children and meet their needs. Through these Mindcare sessions, Teach For India along with Aatma Prakash aims to understand students better and devise solutionsto mitigate any hurdles in their learning process. 

They are already running the ‘Mindshala’ a program where Fellows are trained to identify and help students in their class who may have mental health issues. Over 200 students have reached out to Teach For India Fellows in 2021-22 alone asking for mental health support. 

Speaking on Children’s mental health, Shaheen Mistri, Founder and CEO, Teach for India, said, “Teach For India has always taken a holistic view when we talk about giving our children an ‘Excellent Education’. We focus on both academic excellence and also on ensuring students broaden their vision of what they want to achieve within the larger framework of their community and country. Ensuring that our children are in a good space mentally is an important step toward helping them achieve these goals.” 

Speaking about the session, Ms. Prarthana Sharma, Co-Founder Aatmaprakash foundation said, “A comprehensive and gender-sensitive mental health service can allow our children and young people to take back control of their bodies, emotions, and lives. Aatma Prakash envisions co-creating safe and empathetic communities for every young person in distress. We firmly believe it is primary to find safety and understanding during or post the experience of violence (in any form emotional, physical, and/or sexual)  

Teach For India's vision is to eliminate educational inequity in India. Thus far, TFI Alumni have served over 33 million children and one in every ten Indian children is now reached by a Teach For India Alumni. Additionally, over 75% of TFI alumni work in the social and educational sector and have found over 160+ organisations, with more than 200 of them being CXOs and senior leaders across organisations. 

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