‘Parents must have realistic expectations’

Dr. C. Ramasubramanian  

Parents must avoid having unrealistic expectations on their children. Those in various premium professions always expect their children to follow their footsteps without thought to what they would want. The educational institutions often expect kids of highly successful persons to be as brilliant as their parents.

It is such pressure that leads many school students to be very hard and unforgiving of themselves, consumed as they are by fear that they may not be able to meet these expectations, says Dr. C. Ramasubramanian, State Nodal Officer of District Mental Health Program (DMHP), a Union government project focussing on rural areas operational in 25 districts of Tamil Nadu.

In order to help students tackle such pressure, the DMHP has made ‘School Mental Health’ a priority area to be tackled in the coming year. While the programme would initially focus on Government schools, he says it will soon be extended to interested private schools as well.

The pressure for students emanate from three quarters, he says, namely parents, educational institutions and from the students themselves.

The society does not take into account the students’ capabilities and places undue pressure, by measuring success only in terms of marks scored.

While counsellors would be able to spot the early warning signs of depression and anxiety of students, it is not possible for all students to be covered as there is an acute shortage of trained mental health professionals in the country.


To overcome this shortage, Dr. Ramasubramanian says the DMHP is planning to replicate in all its 25 districts the concept of ‘Virutcham’, a counselling centre for students, which has been successfully tried in Madurai district.

Taken up with the active support of Madurai district administration, the programme involves imparting one-week training to college professors by experts roped in from National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. These professors will run the counselling centres of their colleges under the supervision of trained professionals. Such centres have now been established in almost all the colleges in Madurai.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 7:32:16 AM |

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