Mental health day 2022: Expert tips to tackle stress
World Mental Health Day 2022 is celebrated annually on October 10. Mental Health Day, recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is also a chance to talk about mental health in general, how to look after it and how important it is to talk about things and get help if one is struggling. The theme of 2022's World Mental Health Day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is ‘Make Mental Health And Wellbeing For All A Global Priority’.
In this fast-paced world, where students are struggling to fit into the competitive environment, managing anxiety as a skill should be taught to each student. Anxiety management begins with understanding that it is not only something we experience in our minds but it has physical consequences as well, usually leading to a two-pronged approach that targets both these aspects.
Read More || On World Mental Health Day 2022, Here Are Experts' Take On Mental Health Of School Students
One of the easiest and most effective ways to tackle anxiety, Divyang Sharma, PeakMind Expert says, is learning some form of deep breathing. Deep breathing helps to slow down the heartbeat leading to reduced physical effect of anxiety.
“We recommend Box breathing, as it has proven to be highly effective. Having a list of positive self statements like ‘I am a hard worker, I learn from my mistakes etc’ help students keep a positive mindset,” the expert added.
Scheduling their day also allows the students to focus their attention on the work instead of worrying about what to do next is also one way to reduce stress among students and develop mental health, Mr Sharma added.
Helping the students plan and create their schedules, providing words of encouragement, appreciating the efforts of the student and having an open and constructive line of communication are also some of the ways parents and teachers can help support students in managing anxiety.
Sharing some strategies as to how students can manage anxiety Dr Ranjan Bhattacharyya (Psychiatry) said that taking a balanced diet, doing regular exercises, maintaining hobbies, offline peer interactions and restricting use of social media and online activities can work wonders. Regular exercise Dr Bhattacharya adds secretes ‘feel good’ neurotrophic factor endorphin.
World Mental Health Day 2022: What Parents Can Do To Check Anxiety Among Children
- Parents should be friendly
- A careful observation about the activities and behavioral symptoms.
- Knowledge about features of drug-seeking behaviors and withdrawal symptoms.
- No belittling, scolding, making critical comments or giving physical punishments or abusing verbally their children
- Positive reinforcements, non-materialistic rewards like patting, hugging, kissing and/or encouraging their children
- A word of appreciation can do a miracle
Shalini Sharma, Counselling Psychologist and Therapist at Plaksha University said that over the past few years, mental health has become one of the biggest concerns amongst students. In fact, she added, the recent survey by NCERT shows that 81 per cent students attribute studies, exams and results as major causes of anxiety.
“As an institute dedicated to nurturing the leaders of tomorrow, we strive to introduce initiatives specifically to address the well-being of our students and help elevate constructive mindsets. As part of our wellbeing initiatives, we have been conducting group sessions regularly to build ‘Emotional skills’ of students on significant themes including handling transitions, understanding emotions and building up coping skills. Along with individual therapy sessions, we have initiated an ‘Emotions Lab’ for brief experiments and discussions on topics like attitudes, perceptions, emotions, grief and anxiety,” Dr Sharma added.
The mental health conditions in students can result in the form of lack of interest, absenteeism, withdrawal from social interaction, and loss of productivity. To address issues of mental health among children, Saurav Kasera, co-founder of CLIRNET said: “Providing expert counseling and therapy in a safe and confidential environment in a digital environment (Zoom/WhatsApp) has been a big help as it removes the stigma and brings flexibility and convenience. Positive content, Social and Emotional skills development, and self-help digital tools (self-assessments, guided visualization, mindfulness and breathing activities, expert videos, etc) are proving to be a big help.”
The presence of digital characteristics like mental health screening games, telepsychiatry, teleconsultation, digital therapeutic approaches, virtual clinical support, online peer support forums, personal health trackers and wellness meditation is being explored through digital mental health startups for personalizing mental health care for students’ wellbeing.
e-MANAS is one such application to augment adverse impacts on mental health. Originally launched on April 14, 2021, by the Government of India, it stands for digital Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System (MANAS). The app is currently working to develop its multi-lingual functionality and integration with various public health schemes like the National Health Mission (NHM), Poshan Abhiyan and e-Sanjeevani.
MINDS Community Mental Health Worker (CMHW), Muskurayega India, Systematic Medical Appraisal, Referral and Treatment (SMART) Mental Health Project and Atmiyata are some of the other platforms for better managing stress, anxiety, and depression.