‘The idea is to undertake overall personality and behavioural assessment of the students’
Though high school students suffer from mental disorders like stress, anxiety, fear, phobia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and hallucination, they hardly get to be heard until it takes an ugly turn, which we learn by hindsight, could be prevented with a timely intervention.
In a first-of-its-kind study, the students of Karakambadi Zilla Parishad High School near Tirupati got an opportunity to get their mental health status assessed. Balaji Bala Vikas, a unit of Rashtriya Seva Samithi (RASS), has taken up the task in association with ‘ChildFund India’ to prepare a psychological profile with the help of a questionnaire containing 70 queries on symptoms felt by the students in various case scenarios.
The two-month-long exercise, which began on Thursday, has been aimed at preparing a comprehensive database on the mental health status of the children. The two-pronged strategy is to use the database for further studies on child health as well as retain it for interventional therapy when the student undergoes a psychological problem.
“Tall talks during examinations on overcoming exam phobia, improving concentration and memory power, scaling summits in life etc. do not work unless the real issue is addressed.
The student’s mental health condition has to be studied, the problem identified and suitable intervention provided to prepare him/her for the challenge,” says N.B. Sudhakar Reddy, a counselling psychologist who conducted the study on 690 students from class VI to X. After Thursday’s mass counselling session, Dr. Reddy plans to have a one-on-one to offer cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques, meditation, neuro-linguistic programming and even self-hypnotism, if found required. Symptoms of suicidal tendency and kleptomania also surfaced in some participants, he added, wishing to keep the details confidential.
According to BBV project manager D. Jayachandra Naidu and event coordinator N. Suresh Babu, the idea is to undertake the overall personality and behavioural assessment of the students by taking their family and school environment into cognizance.
This, they say, is in tune with the proposal doing the rounds on putting in place a national mental health policy.