17 October 2021 | 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Mental Health Promoting Schools Webinar
This webinar aims to build consensus into the mental health needs and interests of children and adolescents whilst highlighting the responsibility and respective contribution of a wide range of stakeholders.
UN entities involved in this initiativeRCO, UNICEF, WHO
Other OrganizersMinistry of Education, Ministry of Health
Sustainable Development Goals
About the initiative
Mental health problems can manifest in children as sadness or worry, attention deficits, behavioural difficulties, and deterioration in school performance. Early screening and deployment of effective interventions can reduce the likelihood of continuity and exacerbation of mental health associated impairments into adulthood. The rise in violence, drug addiction and depression amongst adolescents in Kuwait over the past few years has been alarming. A number of contributory factors have been found to exert impact on mental health; these include stressful events in early life such as child abuse and neglect, social isolation and negative lifestyle habits including increased passive screen time and lack of physical activity. The pandemic has underscored the urgency of putting in place collective action plans and policies that protect those most vulnerable and promote their wellbeing. Plans must recognise that children’s and adolescents’ development stage can influence his/her degree of vulnerability to mental health disorders. Accordingly, schools must be well positioned and prepared to identify the need for early interventions to reduce risk factors for mental health disorders and promote protective factors.
Schools are one of several critical systems of care that ensure the delivery of essential health services to children including protection, and psycho-social support. The unprecedented length of school closures imposed because of COVID-19 may have thus contributed to significant imperilments to children’s overall wellbeing and development, not just their learning. With school reopening plans and the focus on accelerating learning to remediate losses, it is crucial that effective mental health and wellbeing plans are put in place so as not to lose sight of the unequivocal link between mental health and educational attainment. Equally so, these plans must necessarily factor in teacher preparedness to take on this responsibility and their personal wellbeing by mainstreaming into them the requisite capacity building exercises, tools, and modalities for the sharing of best practices by educational psychologists, and considerations to the appropriate strategies to mitigate teacher burnout. Indeed, teachers are important role models to students and formative agents in shaping their developmental experience and motivation
This webinar aims to build consensus into the mental health needs and interests of children and adolescents whilst highlighting the responsibility and respective contribution of a wide range of stakeholders. The webinar will form an early stage of a mental health policy planning exercise for schools by identifying the need for and key features of a school mental health policy.