“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.”
In today’s world, it is common to feel anxious and stressed, but the matter becomes serious when it’s chronic and starts taking a toll on one’s health. There are many reasons for stress in teenagers like their career, dreams, parent’s expectations, peer pressure, physicality, study, hormonal changes etc. Teenagers usually feel detached from many things in their lives and it’s natural at this age.
Mr. Raghav Podar – Chairman – Podar Education, who has been shouldering a 94-year-old legacy of education and nation-building says that “Yes, problems do arise while pursuing your dream career and pressures, expectations are normal, but the first and foremost problem is the lack of awareness and sensitivity towards mental health issues.”
According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO), mental illness makes about 15% of the total disease conditions around the world. The same study also suggests that at least 6.5% of the Indian population suffers from serious mental health disorders The mental health situation in India demands progressive policy arbitration and resource allocation by the government.
A white paper — Save our demographic dividend points out that teenagers find professional help difficult to get because only 13% of India has access to mental-health professionals.
Most developed nations spend above 4 percent of their budgets on mental-health research, infrastructure, frameworks, and talent pool, according to a 2011 World Health Organization (WHO) report. India spends 0.06 percent of its health budget on mental health, which is less than Bangladesh (0.44 percent).
As per a study published in the journal Preventive Medicine, the activity levels of teenagers are comparable to 60-year-olds. Their sedentary lifestyle is a major concern.
Raghav Podar, who commissioned the paper said: “We need to create actionable strategies to handle the problems that teenagers face. We came across a meta-analysis of more than 200 coping and emotion regulation studies, by Bruce Compas in July 2017 that included more than 80,000 young people. The analysis suggests that when the teens used adaptive strategies, like looking at a problem differently, engaging in problem-solving, or pursuing constructive communication, they were better able to manage the adverse effects of stress. However, those who used maladaptive strategies like suppressing, avoiding or denying their feelings, had higher levels of problems associated with stress.”
Podar shared with us their efforts to keep their students & their families happy, healthy, and stress-free during the pandemic, “The days of lockdown were passing with perturbation & distress for a lot of families across India. Our focus at that time was not only effective lesson delivery to our students, but also thinking about our student’s mental health. We were aware that the lockdown will affect the physical and mental health of our students, with isolation causing indolence. The challenge was to keep our students and their families active physically and mentally, and bring back the happy hormones of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. We started with conducting online Zumba, Yoga & Bollywood dancing sessions for all our staff, students, and their families and proceeded with webinars with global experts to make our students and parents understand the situation and how to deal with it. It is critical to ensure the healthy mindset of children to ensure high level learning and the development of higher order thinking skills” concluded Podar.