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According to a government-conducted nationwide survey on mental health, middle- and high-school students in India struggle with worry related to their studies, exams, and other variables. However, other counsellors think that peer pressure and family pressure can contribute to students’ anxiousness.
“Frequent mood swings” have been noted as a prominent topic of concern across grades, gender, and school types, according to the NCERT study. Eighty-one percent of respondents said that their worry was a result of their academic work (and girls were more stressed than boys). However, other factors that significantly contribute to ANXIETY in Students: MENTAL HEALTH SURVEY, growth include personal freedom, social interactions, peer relationships, job concerns, and topic specialisations.
10% of children and adolescents encounter mental problems, yet the majority of them do not seek care, according to a WHO report. The issues that kids face at this age persist throughout adulthood and reduce their chances of leading happy lives. According to the paper, “mental health issues are projected to affect 1 in 7 (14%) 10 to 19-year-olds globally, although they are largely undiagnosed and untreated.” ANXIETY in Students: MENTAL HEALTH SURVEY
Discussions on mental health have recently been very popular, especially during the pandemic. Counsellors feel that children have been dealing with anxiety for a very long time, even though school students are now freely discussing their issues.
The Covid epidemic, according to some counsellors, has raised awareness of the issue, giving pupils the confidence to talk openly about their mental health problems.
But since the pandemic, youngsters have lost their self-confidence, which is a significant problem.
According to consulting child and adolescent psychologist Akanksha Kukreja, “Pre-Covid youngsters were concerned about how school was going as well as time management and studying. However, after the pandemic, when students and their pals are back in the classroom, they are looking for approval on social media and from their peers, which creates ANXIETY in Students: MENTAL HEALTH SURVEY, a national survey.
Additionally, pupils are now expected to get along with peers who have diverse temperaments and dispositions on a daily basis, which can also make them anxious.
The survey’s results are based on answers from about 3.8 lakh pupils nationwide. Of the 81% who criticised academics, 49% said that studies were the main cause of concern, and 28% said that tests and results were the same.
Counsellors think that parents, who occasionally place the burden of realising their own goals on their children, are largely to blame for this pressure regarding academics, tests, and results.
Parents and frequently begin comparing their children to other youngsters in their own social groups or even to their siblings. As a result, the child may feel unwarranted pressure and develop an unnecessary competitive spirit.
Child psychologist Jyoti Kanda noted that children mimic their parents, particularly throughout the school years. These are seen as formative years, so if parents compare their kids to their friends or siblings, “it will increase pressure and possibly make the youngster feel like he or she has to score extraordinarily well,” according to one expert.
Parents’ comparisons, which may serve as a form of inspiration or criticism, can have long-lasting effects, leading to children developing anxiety if they are not constantly the centre of attention.
‘I attend a terrific school, but the issue is that no matter how hard I try ‘Keeping up with Insta trends’, what other people are doing in terms of what they are watching, wearing, listening to, and maintaining their Instagram profiles, it just gets too busy and occasionally I snap at myself. The one time I didn’t have a nightly skincare routine, I felt very ashamed, but now it is a “cool” thing to do. I spent time researching one, and now I’m just pretending to have it. I get nervous when I think about chatting to my classmates’, admitted Class 9 student in Noida.
Many kids today, like Krisha, have access to cell-phones and social media, which allows them to engage in peer activities whenever they choose. Children who go through the social media accounts of their friends and see updates about how “happening” or wonderful their lives are frequently forget that people only share the positive aspects of their lives online.
Social media dominates the life of today’s kids, and it’s concerning that it has an impact on their way of thinking. Children must understand that social media puts pressure on them rather than brings them tranquilly, according to Akanksha.
Students who participated in the NCERT survey indicated that talking to friends and family, doing yoga, and meditation are good coping mechanisms.
Jyoti Kanda counsels students to monitor their daily schedule. “Diet is crucial for maintaining mental wellness. We definitely tend to consume a lot of gluten and processed foods in this day and age, which can be harmful to a child’s physical and mental health. The right amount of sleep is crucial for mental health, according to Kanda.
Sidhhant Singh thinks that rather than being silent, students should speak up to those who wish them well. Children should feel free to discuss any issues with their parents, teachers, counsellors, or even older siblings. They should be open and honest with these people, and they should always ask them for guidance and assistance when needed. In order to help pupils, older people will be more understanding, patient, and experienced than if they merely reach out to their younger peers. Instead of looking up information on Google, talk, he said. Children should be encouraged to read inspirational novels and autobiographies as well. Children who read about other people’s experiences can learn that they are not alone in their battle and that many others have walked the same road.
Akanksha claimed that pupils needed to learn how to develop their “internal validation.” Children must understand that they must compete with themselves and not with others. Participating in a pastime that the kids like and are skilled at will help you win this war since it will make them feel good about themselves, she continued.
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