Introduce Mental Health Hour in schools

Introduce Mental Health Hour in schools

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Maria Ageeva started this petition to Department of Education and

School is a place where we spend a substantial amount of time during what can arguably be described as the most important, most critical period in our life. It is also a place that aims to equip pupils with the most essential skills, prepare them for their future lives and allow them to become a well-adjusted member of society.

And yet, the things that we learn in school are mostly concerned with aiming for perfection and having expertise in specific subjects, such as Maths, English etc., while the crucial skills of tending to one’s mental health, ability to communicate, set healthy boundaries, deal with stress and anxiety, valuing your own and others’ feelings and so much more is being overlooked. Studies show, that most mental health conditions develop during adolescence, with a general onset of 12-13 years old.

I am convinced that introducing a Mental Health Hour for grade 6 students and up, at least once a week, as part of the normal schooling curriculum would not only improve pupils understanding and awareness of mental health, but moreover, will help prevent potential development of mental health conditions by providing a safe environment for growth and students’ mental health needs that often become overlooked, ignored or simply not talked about.

Likewise, it would help the students to become well-adjusted and highly conscious adults, that aim for success and life balance, not some metaphoric perfection. Mental health issues are invisible and are harder to notice than a broken leg, but they are just as important as physical health issues.

As such, mental health hours could be especially helpful in providing a safe space for those students who are going through unseen issues at home or otherwise. Such Mental Health Hours would be constructed to encourage pupils to ask the right questions, learn to self-reflect and educate them on the basics of mental health hygiene, which would eventually help stabilise and ease the mental strain of constant stress that so many students might experience. Especially, after experiencing such a significant change to their daily routines as the pandemic has been, bringing about even more anxiety, stress and uncertainties about the future.

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At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!