School Mental Health Program
It is of utmost concern today to maintain the mental wellbeing and prosperity of families and the society at large. School is an ideal clinic for moulding the parents, teachers and the students. Prevention and early intervention in Psychological, Psychosomatic and Psychosocial disorders is always better than its management. Relentless efforts were put to blend principles of child psychology, educational psychology, laws on human rights and computing. The blend of science, technology, art and law to serve human kind and to upgrade the perception of the health is the agenda of our developing school mental health program.
Central Institute of Behavioural Sciences is conducting this program since 2005 in Schools of Central India and has reached 5123 Students, 11022 Families and 312 Teachers through 80 Schools.
Mission and Vision
- To improve the mental health of children and adolescents.
- To establish scientific prevention modules.
- To identify psychological & psycho-social disorders among young population.
- To provide psychological support to the caregivers and sufferers.
- To empower schools and their teachers to understand and rectify the problem.
- To enhance the quality of performance among children and adolescent holistically.
- To stop the negative trends of behaviour in coming generations.
- To make education stress free & more meaningful for all.
The School Mental health Program under CIBS was approved by the World Psychiatric Association Zone 22 in 2005 as the Nagpur Model. Practically it was started in 2000 in schools of Nagpur City. Measurement of its impact was considered qualitatively as well as quantitatively using following parameters.
- Achievement Scores: Academic, Sports and Overall performances of students
- Behavioural Improvement reported by teachers and Parents
- Ease of managing students in Classrooms by teachers
- Parents understanding about their wards problems
- Help seeking by the students and confidence of opening up sensitive personal issues
- Qualitative improvement in ambience, dignity and support to ancillary staff for clean environment.
- Transmission of life skills from students to their families
The outcome study focus on the School Mental Health program in 80 schools between2000 to 2015. The data from 312 teachers, 5123 students and 11022 family members was considered. Along with this the ancillary staff of the schools were interviewed to seek data on overall perception and quality improvement in environment.
Quantitative data focussed on the academic improvement, behavioural checklists and psychosocial morbidity showed that students reported a significant improvement in their academic results, competitive spirits and overcoming their psychosocial and psychological problems like interpersonal problems, sibling rivalry, peer pressures, depression and anxiety. A qualitative marker of reporting their personal problems showed a sudden rise in the help seeking behaviour of adolescent girls. They not only expressed their traumas but also their gender specific encounters. In three years such students found new confidence and support to thrive successfully in life. Around 18 % of the screened students showed psychological and psychiatric morbidity. Going by the global evidence there was a chance of 1.2 % suicidal behaviour in this population at risk. However, a long term follow-up till 2010 of these students showed no deviation towards depression, suicide or drug addiction.
The second area of focus was the teachers. There was a sense of higher value and dignity reported by the teachers after the intervention started and they also reported the ease of handling difficult students in their respective teaching session. The quality of classroom management created secondary improvement in the physical and mental health of the teachers and there was a substantial reduction of somatic complaints. The stress management taught to them helped in reaching home in better state than previous and compartmentalizing their roles.
The third sector of parents was better studies due to the availability of siblings in the same schools. The parents reported the improved behavioural patterns on standardised testing and also their parenting skills. Their ability to communicate and command over their children improve and the decline in oppositional or disobedience was specifically reported by the parents. Certain changes in their wards opened their eyes for a gross change in the home environment. There was a changed pattern reported by wives about their husbands. Many stopped smoking, drinking and quarrelling in presence of these students.
The fourth data was more qualitative and came from the interactions with the ancillary staff. They reported of improved attitude and communication of students and teachers with them. There were more cleaner toilets and classrooms and also the students stated showing empathy towards them. It was obvious that their approach also changed and they were less reactive and more loving towards the students. Their approach change from the payroll to support staff.
The fifth and most prudent change was in the acceptance of the policies by the administrators. There were LD, ADHD and borderline intellectuals in the schools who were considered for ejection. However after the SMHP they all became inclusive and most of the schools appointed special teachers and counsellors to attend the needs of these special children.