AIIMS, AAI to work on mental health of school kids

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Prof Randeep Guleria and Dr MK Bimal at signing of MoU in Delhi.

 Rohit Shishodia
Delhi-AIIMS and Airports Authority of India (AAI) have joined hands to work on mental health of school children that will build confidence in them and they will learn appropriate use of electronic gadgets. Both organizations have signed a MoU for a project named Mind Activation Through Education (Mate).

The project will be implemented in 20 selected schools for class VI-XII students to introduce the Mental Health and Wellness program. Under the project, one workshop will be conducted for parents and five workshops for the students.

The objective of Mate is sensitization of children of class 6th to 12th towards the basics of mind-body integration based on bio-psycho-social model of functioning of the brain and body. The program would match the biological syllabus of respective class and will mainly be in audiovisual form.

Mate includes relevant age appropriate scientifically tailored programs for developing the brain of the children, focusing on overall cognitive, physical and socio-cultural development of the brain of the individuals and not only on the procurement of degree and obtaining technical skills.

Under the project, the children will be discouraged for sedentary lifestyle and they will be taught about appropriate use of technology (focus on internet and online gaming, including mobile and social media addiction, by an appropriate alternative scientific approach).

The project ensures development of self-esteem, team spirit, respect to self and others including social harmony by developing sporting culture.

According to AIIMS, the mental health and well-being of children requires our attention. Today, youngsters can be helped with more productive and fulfilling lives through programs that include comprehensive health and positive mental health with life skills education.

Majority of young people today face significant stresses in their lives. Some changes are part of normal growing up e.g. growth and hormonal changes as well as the changes in relationships that young people experience with parents, peers and society.

Other stresses are more individual, involving pressures to advance in school and managing peer pressures, family movements, school changes, parental fighting and divorce or pressure to engage in substance abuse.

Sexual and physical mistreatment, severe or chronic physical illness and hospitalizations may also cause significant stresses. Young people negotiate these stresses with varying degrees of resilience and mastery.

“Families and schools are the strongest social institutions in the child’s life. Rapid population growth, geographic mobility, urban migration, increased numbers of single-parent families, technological change, and the easy access to potentially life-threatening substances abuse activities have weakened family and cultural structures that formerly protected and supported young people.

The MoU was signed by Prof Randeep Guleria, Director-AIIMS, and Dr M.K. Bimal, Director, Safdarjung Airport, in presence of Prof. Aarti Vij, Chairperson, Media and Protocol Division, AIIMS, and Prof R K Chadda, Head of Psychiatry, AIIMS.


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