In a bid to address the pressing concerns surrounding mental health, Sarvottam International School organized the “Anchors Dialogue – Mental Health Conclave” on September 23, 2023. This enlightening event saw the participation of dedicated counselors and educators from The Khaitan School, along with esteemed professionals and experts in the field of mental health and education. The conclave aimed to shed light on various aspects of mental well-being, its importance in schools, and innovative strategies to support students.
The Summit’s Commencement
The conclave commenced with an inaugural ceremony that set the stage for an enriching exchange of ideas and knowledge. The event provided a platform for sharing valuable insights, experiences, and expertise among educators and mental health professionals. The collaborative spirit of the conclave was evident from the outset.
Key Speakers and Their Insights
1. Dr. Aruna Broota – Understanding the Importance of Counseling
Dr. Aruna Broota, a distinguished Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, emphasized the necessity of understanding the current status of counseling in educational institutions. She reiterated that counseling is accessible to anyone and encouraged the active involvement of trusted individuals, be it family members, teachers, or friends, in motivating individuals to seek counseling. Dr. Broota also advised counselors to maintain records of their counselees’ progress, utilizing a counselor’s prescription pad.
2. Dr. Imran Noorani – Self-Care and Identifying Red Flags
Dr. Imran Noorani, a consultant psychologist from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, delved into the importance of self-care to support others. He highlighted findings from the IPSOS Global Happiness Survey 2020, revealing that happiness remains elusive for many Indians due to factors such as digitalization and the pandemic. Additionally, he raised awareness about identifying red flags associated with Autism Spectrum disorders and developmental delays in young children.
3. Dr. Jitendra Nagpal – Holistic Health and Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, a psychiatrist and Program Director of National Life Skills and School Wellness Initiatives, shed light on holistic health and the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare. Dr. Nagpal underscored the global mental health crisis, stating that India contributes significantly to the burden of depressive and anxiety disorders. He discussed ways to promote mental health in schools, emphasizing balanced information, acknowledging emotions, fostering positivity, maintaining healthy routines, and staying connected.
4. Ms. Mohua Das – Nurturing Mental Health from Cradle to Campus
Ms. Mohua Das, an experienced psychotherapist and university counselor from SRM University, shared insights into nurturing mental health from early childhood to higher education. She advocated for a comprehensive approach to mental health services, emphasizing early intervention, holistic development, continuity of support, better decision-making, and parent-caregiver involvement. Ms. Das also outlined the role of counselors in focusing on various aspects of students’ well-being.
5. Ms. Simi Srivastava – The Power of Storytelling in Therapy
Ms. Simi Srivastava, a master storyteller, founder of Kathashala, author, and educationist, captivated the audience with her unique approach to therapy through storytelling. She demonstrated the effectiveness of storytelling in instilling values, teaching life skills, and making academic topics engaging.
6. Mr. Abhishek Gupta – The Need for Career Counseling
Mr. Abhishek Gupta, the founder of ‘High School Moms’ and the International Alliance of Counselors and Educators, stressed the importance of career counseling in schools. He discouraged the traditional approach of career selection and advocated for career assessments, teacher and counselor training, alumni career tracking, scholarship information dissemination, parent interactions, and collaboration with universities and industries.
In addition to the enlightening sessions, Sarvottam International School also showcased their innovative work in the area of Peer Education with “The Essence of Saarthi” exhibition. Several renowned universities and institutions, including SRM, UPES, Pearl University, and GNIOT, participated in the event, providing an opportunity for networking and raising awareness about their programs and courses.
The conclave culminated in an award ceremony, where teachers and counselors were felicitated for their outstanding contributions and best practices in their respective fields.
The Anchors Dialogue – Mental Health Conclave was an exceptional gathering of experts, educators, and counselors committed to addressing the mental health needs of students. The event served as a beacon of knowledge, highlighting the critical role of schools in nurturing the mental well-being of young minds. It is evident that mental health awareness and support are not only essential but also evolving with innovative strategies and collaborations to create a brighter and more resilient future for our students.