In an effort to support the mental health and well being of kids, the UK government has launched a new trial for schools where kids would be encouraged to practise mindfulness exercises.
The initiative launched in over 370 schools in the UK will help hundreds of children use a variety of techniques like breathing exercises and relation techniques to regulate their emotions and handle daily stress better. Sessions with mental health experts will also be conducted.
The trial, which is expected to run until 2021, aims to provide schools with extensive evidence as to what helps the kids on a daily basis to improve their mental health and well-being.
UK’s Education Secretary Damian Hinds made the announcement on 4 February.
As per a report in Xinhuanet, Damian Hinds, said:
"As a society, we are much more open about our mental health than ever before, but the modern world has brought new pressures for children, while potentially making others worse. Schools and teachers don’t have all the answers but we know they can play a special role, which is why we have launched one of the biggest mental health trials in schools."
He also announced that compulsory health education would also be introduced in all schools which would include introducing kids to mental health, happiness, well being in classes.
This initiative will be led by the Anna Freud National Center for Children and Families (AFNCCF) in partnership with University College London.
UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
"I’m incredibly excited by this initiative, which will help young people better understand their mental health and identify when they need to ask for help sooner."
Earlier, in Delhi, the government had inaugurated its ‘Happiness curriculum’ on 2 July 2018. After a three-day orientation of the teachers, the classes had started on 15 July. As part of it, the students of Delhi government schools were to have a 45-minute 'happiness period' which would include meditation, storytelling, question and answer sessions, value education and mental exercises.
The activity-based curriculum was not to have any formal examinations. However, a periodic assessment of children's progress was to be made using a happiness index.
What actually happened in these classes is recorded here.
In an age when one in every 4 Indian children aged 13 to 15 struggles with depression and with India having one of the highest rates of teen suicides, it is important that we look after the mental health & well being of our kids.
We hope that more countries join this effort and promote such initiatives on a global level.
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