NCERT issues guidelines for early identification of students’ mental health problems

26 September 2022
Nikitha Warriar Written by Nikitha Warriar
Nikitha Warriar

Nikitha Warriar

Nikitha Warriar writes a lot on healthcare and wellness. She is also one of LifeWordsmith’s...

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Based on a mental health survey of school children, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recently issued guidelines to promote early identification and intervention for mental health problems among students.

The NCERT survey was conducted among 3,79,842 school students from January to March 2022 and has highlighted an urgent need to focus on safety, health, and well-being of children across schools and hostels. And since students spend one-third of their day and around 220 days a year in schools, it is essential for schools to be responsible for their overall well-being.

The guidelines recommend that schools should form a mental health advisory panel, headed by the principal and should include teachers, parents, students, and alumni as members. 

The guidelines also emphasize the need for schools to have a provision for identifying substance use, self-harm, depression, or other developmental factors and be prepared with appropriate first-aid and referrals.

As most mental health symptoms or conditions emerge at an early age, the guidelines conclude by highlighting the need to sensitize stakeholders, especially teachers as they are also primary caregivers along with parents and families. 

Teachers need to be trained in the identification and management of common mental health issues in children and adolescents like separation anxiety, communication problems, anxiety patterns, hyperactivity, and learning disabilities, among others.

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