The issue of children’s mental health has been highlighted in the UAE, with a Sharjah school introducing an initiative to help students facing problems.
‘Our Own English High School’ in the Emirate has assigned mentors to each student, to allow them to open up about any issues they are facing.
Speaking to the Khaleej Times, Anitha Sanalkumar, senior supervisor at the school said: “Little things can make a huge difference to students who are experiencing issues. In senior grades the students are provided with mentors. The pastoral care provided by teacher-mentors assists students in developing positive self-esteem, healthy risk-taking, goal setting and negotiation, enhancing their strengths and other factors.”
The school has also introduced lessons in stress management, and how to build a healthy work/life balance to help those in need deal with their condition.
Child and adolescent mental health issues are often overlooked worldwide, and that has been no different in the UAE. As a result, educational facilities are working in partnership with healthcare experts to increase awareness of the conditions that frequently arise.
Anxiety is a major issue, especially when fed by parental pressures. Schools are now urging parents not to put too much pressure on their children. Sanalkumar added: “Parents can help the child to develop self-discipline, self-direction, self-confidence and a sense of achievement. They are not to transfer their anxiety on the child - help to work out the child's schedule instead of nagging them. Try and gain your child's confidence and discuss the problems with them.”
Health chiefs in the country are also keen to highlight some of the hallmarks of depression that are often overlooked by parents as simply childish mood swings.
These include changes in sleeping or eating patterns, as well as social withdrawal.
According to reports into youth mental health, success can only be found when medics work in partnership with educators, parents and guardians and the patient. Something that removing the stigma around mental health by normalising it should help achieve.
For more information on how you can help the UAE in its battle with mental health, register on our website today. A dream move could be far closer than you might imagine.