Bengaluru: With the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day on Wednesday being “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World,” experts and educators in the city have designed numerous initiatives for the mental well-being of youngsters.
Among schools Bethany High in Koramangala has taken steps to reduce children’s exposure to gadgets and internet. It observes Mondays as ‘Digital Detox Day’ and urges teachers, parents and students to be off their smartphones, computers and other gadgets both at school and at home.
Dr Akash Ryall , Director of Bethany Group of Institutions, told Deccan Chronicle, “We are losing the art of real communication nowadays. Even though the number of contacts increase, the quality of communication has seen a decline. At homes, families have been losing out on their family time after the invasion of such gadgets. This initiative has made lives much easier and happier for everyone.”
He added that the move has helped parents lend their ears to their children, making family conversations possible daily at least during dinner time.
Child rights activist and President of Child Rights Trust Nagasimha G. Rao opined that teenagers and youngsters should never be left in isolation. They face a lot of mental pressure trying to clear a series of confusions that they face. All this amounts to mental stress when added with societal expectations of their academic and moral conduct.
“Youngsters tend to be seeking advice from their elders, always wanting to share their experiences with their loved ones on a daily basis. Once they feel there’s nobody to listen, they easily get addicted to something else gadgets, alcohol, drugs or anything else which would then amount to further personality deterioration,” he said.
Kumar Jahgirdar, National President of Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), an NGO in the city, said that early intervention in such cases will contribute towards preventing untoward incidents.
“As responsible elders and dear guardians we should equip our youngsters with resilience providing support and treatment, if needed, at the right time. We should make them know that they are never alone in whatever they are struggling with. Listen to others with care and support, build healthy relationships both individually and in the family encouraging family communication built with trust and respect,” he said.