From December 15th to 17th, 2022, students from The Khaitan School participated in the CBSE Adolescent Summit on Life Skills, Mental Health, Safety, and Well-Being in collaboration with Expressions India. The following students from class XI-F, Shambhavi Srivastava, Sanskriti Sagar, Harshita Hariharan, and Swara Mishra represented their school and advocated for the need for ongoing dialogue and educational intervention to empower adolescents as Mental Health and Well-Being Ambassadors. When adolescents learn knowledge, values, and life skills, they benefit in numerous ways. This was demonstrated through a student exhibition highlighting the key qualities that help them to make informed decisions, solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, empathize with others, and manage their lives in a healthy and productive manner.
A Nukkad Natak (street play) on the theme of stigma and stereotypes surrounding mental health was performed, raising awareness of the need for each of us to be agents of change in accepting mental health issues and addressing the need to overcome them. Adolescent challenges were also depicted through a dance presentation.
The summit featured notable speakers such as Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, Director of Expressions India, Dr. Joseph Emmanuel, Director of CBSE, famous Indian Kathak dancer Ms. Shovana Narayan, Indian journalist Mr. Rajat Sharma, IAS Ms. LS Changsan, and Dr. Rama Sharma, Public Relations Officer of CBSE. Each speaker emphasized the fact that mental health is just as important as physical health and nurturing one’s life skills during youth can greatly contribute to building strong resilience. Our youth needs to understand the impact of good mental health so that they can become responsible citizens and help others to be more healthy. By making an effort to spread mental health awareness, we can work to de-stigmatize our attitudes towards, approach to, and identification of mental health issues in our society.
Having difficult conversations and acknowledging that there is a problem allows us to find a solution. We can start to remove the shame and fear often associated with mental health topics. Doing so increases the likelihood of someone seeking help when they need it. Asking for help is a sign of strength, and working together allows us to build a foundation that respects and values good mental health. Focusing on mental health awareness increases knowledge of the signs and symptoms of certain conditions. Early intervention is often key to the success of mental health treatment for many conditions. The earlier someone is diagnosed and begins treatment, the more likely they are to manage their condition and improve their mental health.
The summit ended with the key message that we all need to empower ourselves through self-care and seek help in any way possible to overcome daily challenges.