Bindhu is a student of Grade 8 in Government school in Borabanda district of Hyderabad. Her disinterest in classroom and other activities was noticed by the Mental Health Champion (MHC) provided by KHUSHII under the Shikshaantra Plus intervention. She was observed as sad and anxious in her class. After building a rapport with her, she opened up about discord between her parents, resulting in disharmony at home. Due to the disturbance and non-supporting environment at home, she had to take-up household chores in order to run the house. It had massively affected her studies. This tussle between the family challenges and her dreams affected her confidence and performance. Due to the low self-esteem and anxiety issues, she couldn’t concentrate in academics and other co-curricular activities.
Our MHC started taking regular sessions with her including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Enhancement Therapy which helped rebuilding her confidence and self-esteem. Simultaneously, counselling sessions were also conducted with her parents to make them understand the challenges Bindhu was facing due to emotional abuse and stressful environment at home. Some of the practices introduced to her were – meditation for 15 minutes every day, positive thinking, making schedules for her daily activities including studies, household chores and recreational activities.
In the span of three months of intervention, support from the family and proper personal counseling, situation started to improve. She is on the path of self-recovery and is optimistic about her future. Her friends and family have been a constant supporter.
Under the SMHEAP (समीप) programme (Shikshantraa Plus Mental Health Education & Awareness Programme), many students like Bindhu have been helped in addressing the emotional, behavioral or mental health issues. According to NHMS 2015-16, 10-12% people suffering depression get treated and 50% mental health condition start by the age of 14. ICMR states that 12.5% of children up to the age 14 years suffer from mental health problems. Addressing mental health needs in school is critically important to ensure learning and achievement of students. Its awareness is an important issue for all educators, who are often the first line of defense for their students.