Often overlooked but pivotal to success, Mental Wellbeing
India has been rated as the most depressed country in the world by World Health Organisation, which brings me to delve straight into the truth: Nowadays, children are either depressed, or are growing up to be depressed, anxious individuals.
Even children who perform exceedingly well in academics, could be crumbling with self-doubt on the inside. Or, a student with excellent grades in Science could be passionate about the Liberal Arts- but does not have the emotional bandwidth to say so, or to admit it before his/her parents and teachers, and can thus can get cast into a lifetime of choosing the wrong path and being unhappy with it. Cyber bullying, social media, and peer pressure, instead of decreasing with the progress of our times has seen a steady increase: directly impacting the mental health of developing, sensitive minds, and obstructing their growth and journey to being a wholesome individual.
The importance of mental health should not just be restricted to ‘bringing the best out of the student or child’ in terms of performance, be it academic or extra-curricular. Rather, it should be centred on trying to mould children into well-rounded, self-assured and secure personalities, so that they succeed in not just professional, but also in their personal lives. Through our volume dedicated to the mental health awareness and holistic development, The Progressive Teacher seeks to re-define the terms success, wellness, and development. Success entails many things- not just a stable career, or even a conventional way of life. Success could mean various things for various people- which is why off-beat careers such as travel writing, public welfare, decorative and performative arts are gaining momentum and popularity in India and in the rest of the world. People are breaking out of their shells and exploring the roads not taken, in the quest for happiness. However, if certain inner-work is done for an individual at a formative age, then the hassle of breaking out of one cycle, and then adopting a different path can be avoided- the pains, turmoil, and struggles associated with the process can be avoided if we teach our children from the very outset to follow their hearts, and as educators instill in them the courage and discipline to do so in a systematic way, and teach them life-skills at a school-level so that they are in touch with their individuality. Once this is achieved, perhaps the world will be a happier place and India won’t have a low rank on the Happiness Index!
In this volume, we have curated articles from the best among the best: mental health experts, educationists, teachers, career mentors, counsellors, psychologists, and guides. We hope you enjoy this issue and it helps in widening the average perspective of mental health among children.