Mental health issues need an imminent solution. Most of the issues occur at the early childhood stage.

According to the report of world health organization 30-35 children among 100 facing real mental health issues. According to another report between the years 2010 – 2015, self-harming steps increased 50% in student and they were increased admission in hospitals.

According to research, 57.9% youth of Pakistan facing mental health issues. Now the question is arises here that why school need to take care of children’s mental health . Because children spent half of the time in schools. In addition, school is the best place to approach these issues. In schools, teachers can identify problematic students and work with them for their better future. Mental health issues not only affect children personality but it affects their educational career as well. School is the best place to identify problematic students and to provide expert support to these children. With better mental health , it will improve the overall wellbeing of students. Unfortunately, we do not have too much clinical psychiatrist to approach our whole population.

That is why the world has started to think about how to mitigate these sort of issues. After many types of research, the world decided to promote mental health in schools through teachers and school administration. Because teachers are nation builders, they will be most appropriate people to stop these issues from their start of occurring. Modern countries have started mental health awareness programs very early in their school, but low and middle-income countries are still suffering in this area. WHO realized that these issues should be sort in low and middle countries as well because the population of these countries is in the worst condition? With these results WHO has started a healthy schools initiative program in low and middle-income countries. In Pakistan WHO also started a healthy school initiative program in rural areas of Rawalpindi in two tehsils Kallar Syedan and Gujjar Khan with the collaboration of Ministry of education, health and WHO’s collaborating center institute of psychiatry Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi. In the pilot phase of that program, the team of researchers is going to the selected schools and collecting data of students in the range between 4 -14 years. In the 2nd phase, the team will go and identify students with problems through the proved questionnaires with the help of their teachers.

On different tools, children who became positive on teacher level screening and another team will contact their parent to interview them as well to further clarify this issue from the parents. After identifying problematic children the research team will arrange training the teachers to train them that how they can treat students in classroom settings. WHO has developed training and different lectures for the training of teachers?

Most attractive part of this program is that teachers have no need to go outside of schools for their training. Because the research team has information about their free time, slots and the training team will arrange training in their free time slots. This training will be through the cascade down model. If teachers facing any issues in schools they will contact on that software to get information regarding that issue. Through chatbot, they also can watch videos of that training and lectures regarding the mental health issues in school settings. One team of researchers will also supervise monthly those champion teachers and interview them to get feedback about the positive or negative effects of that training. In the pilot phase of this program, only 16 schools of Kallar Syedan will undergo randomized selection. Eight schools will be in control and remaining will be in the intervention arm. Teachers of Intervention arm Schools will get training and remaining will not get training to obverse and prove the effectiveness of the program. If the effectiveness of this program will prove out.

After the successful completion of this program, many research papers will publish and this program will take place across Pakistan. The lectures and strategies will be the part of our curriculum. According to David Satcher, “there is no health without mental health .”

MANSOOR AHMED JAMALI,

Islamabad, April 16.