The steady increase in psychological difficulties faced by school children explains the need to ensure their psycho social wellbeing through active collaboration.

On 10th November 2017, Ms. Sarita Gupta and Ms. Rajika Dixit attended a seminar by Macmillan Education on the topic ‘Creating Base – School Safety and Healthy minds’. The guest speaker for the day was Dr. Samir Parikh – Chairperson – Fortis National Mental Health Programme and Director – Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences.

Teacher workshop on child psychology

In the first segment of the seminar a discussion was held on the importance of accepting today’s reality. Issues of concern for students like increased social isolation and urban loneliness, easy and unfiltered access to (faulty) information, high competition and pressure to perform and physical threat to safety (online and offline) were discussed and it was derived that we need to develop a secure base for the child.

A secure base will help to develop relationships that create feelings of safety and comfort, promote feelings of confidence and competence and allow cohesive, strong sense of self and individual personality.

Followed by this was an interactive session on the challenges to a secure base like longitudinal struggles and cross-sectional crises. Dr. Parikh talked about factors like parenting styles, family dynamics, teacher- student interface, peer dynamics, media and personal (academic, social, emotional etc) which have an influence on children.

As it is said, ‘Focus more on the solution than the problem’, the last segment of the seminar dealt with strategies to overcome the challenges through interventions of peer dynamics, academic concerns and media influences. We as teachers, can intervene by holding frequent small group interactions to facilitate peer relationships, sensitive screening and direction for signs of vulnerability amongst children and guiding them towards appropriate help.

Overall the session was very enriching, the key take aways being, the acceptance of the problem and the effective implementation of strategies consistently.

Ms. Rajika Dixit