Mandatory inclusion of Mental Health education in the curriculum of all schools in India
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India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and the largest population of adolescents in the world. Issues such as growing aggression and violence, gender issues, anxiety disorders , major depressive disorders peer pressure, substance abuse, social exclusion, bullying etc. are increasing at an alarming rate which declares a state of urgency to act.
According to a WHO study in 2015, 56,675,969 people suffer from depression in India, which is about 4.5% of India's population. Another study shows, 65% youth between the age group of 22-25 show early signs of depression and yet another WHO study tells us 1 in 4 children in the age group of 13-15 years in India suffer from depression. India has the highest suicide rate in the world for the 15-29 age group , depression being a major cause.
These findings reinforce the need to increase awareness of the importance of mental well-being. A comprehensive curriculum will equip the youth to use the information to promote and maintain good mental health. It will help in sensitizing them about mental health issues and eliminating stigma that surrounds it. Awareness of mental health issues will also help them to recognize the need of professional intervention, if needed.
From the statistical point of view, the Indian student population today is the largest in the world at around 315 million, of which around 120 million students are in the age group of 18-22 years.
However, our education system lacks in providing social and emotional learning and strategies that promote positive mental health. Hence, we all need to take an initiative
Students, parents and employers all benefit from good education. But they lack the voice to press for change. However, it’s high time we take an initiative and be a force of positive change. Please sign this petition so that we can get our voices heard.
If we are able to gather a considerable number of signatures, it will show a potential commitment to the decision makers involved, who in our case, is the HRD Ministry, Ministers of State for school education and higher education. It will bring to their notice the need for a change in the existing education system.
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