Research tells us that 50% of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14. Children living in poverty are 3 times more likely to experience such issues. In 2019, the Indian Journal of Psychiatry stated that 50 million children in India struggled with mental health issues, and ~90% of those have sought no help. WHO has declared that India is going through a Mental Health Pandemic.
In light of this grave problem, it is clear that there is a need for early intervention programs that can identify, assess and help children overcome these issues.
Understanding emotion is a critical part of a child’s development that most schools and even parents often ignore. The programworks on fostering positive attitudes and behavioral changes in children, especially those from very low-income communities, through Social Emotional Learning (SEL). They work across 3 models making the program extremely effective and replicable across the country:
- SEL school programs: Implementation of Mental health programsin Mumbai Municipal schools through teacher training, curriculum changes and counseling. 6000+ Current direct beneficiaries.
- Research Schools: For research and implementation of SEL practically in model schools through curriculum development, management, result analysis and counseling. 500+ Current direct beneficiaries.
- Fellowship: Identify, connect and train individuals on SEL to bring this to every school by becoming advocators and teachers.
Implemented through carefully crafted curriculum for Indian context and practical activities, children are empowered to explore and understand their emotions, practice coping mechanisms for challenging situations, engage in discussions on vital social skills like empathy, leadership, confidence, communication, strengths and conflict resolutions, and actively participate in projects that foster a sense of community and giving back.
Their close collaborationand monitoring process with schools, communities and families creates a nurturing environment, enabling children to thrive and escape the mental health whirlpool.The driving force behind the program’s successlies in its extremely passionate team of trained facilitators, community leaders and curriculum developers. The team, working for over 10 years now, creates a safe and supportive environment for every child wherehe/she can embrace their unique past, current circumstances and journeys of learning and growth.