2nd Sem MBA Student
Acharya Institute of Graduate Studies
The adolescent phase marks a pivotal journey in a student’s life. As they grapple with the demands of academics, peer influences, and self-discovery, their mental well-being can be profoundly affected. This article delves into the significance of mental health for students in this age group and offers guidance on how to support them.
Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness; it’s about emotional well-being, resilience, and the ability to cope with challenges. A healthy mind is essential for academic success, positive relationships, and overall life satisfaction.
Understanding the Challenges:
- Academic Pressure: Students often face pressure to perform well in exams, secure good grades, and make decisions about their future academic paths. Parents, teachers, and students need to maintain a balanced approach, focusing not only on academics but also on overall well-being, including mental and physical health.
- Peer Pressure: Individuals of similar age or social status, can have on each other’s behaviour, attitudes, and choices. It can be both positive and negative:
> Positive Peer Pressure: In some cases, friends can encourage each other to engage in positive behaviours, such as studying, participating in sports or hobbies, or making healthy choices.
> Negative Peer Pressure: On the other hand, negative friends encourage behaviours that are risky, harmful, or go against an individual’s values or best interests. This can include things like substance abuse, skipping school, or engaging in risky activities.
- Identity and Self-esteem: students are essential for their personal and academic development. Allow them to make decisions and solve problems on their own and help them set achievable goals, both academically and personally. This gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment when they reach those goals.
- Technology and Screen Time: Technology and screen time can have both positive and negative effects on individuals, particularly children and adolescents.
> Positive Effects: Technology can enhance learning through educational apps, online courses, and research tools. It enables instant communication with people worldwide, fostering connections and collaboration.
> Negative Effects: Excessive screen time can lead to physical health issues like eye strain, sedentary behaviour, and sleep disturbances. It can contribute to issues such as screen addiction, anxiety, depression, and social isolation.
Tips for Supporting Mental Health:
- Open Communication: Encourage students to share their thoughts, concerns, and experiences. Listen actively, be non-judgmental, and offer guidance when needed. Building trust and fostering open dialogue can help them navigate this important stage of their education and personal growth.
- Teach Coping Strategies: Teach students mindfulness exercises and meditation techniques to help them stay present and manage their thoughts and emotions and teach them to prioritise tasks, create to-do lists, and manage their time effectively to reduce stress related to schoolwork.
- Balance: Balancing academics and extracurricular activities is crucial for adolescent students. Create a study schedule that allocates time for homework, and studying. Establish academic and personal goals to stay motivated. Break them down into manageable steps. Get enough sleep, eat balanced meals, and exercise regularly to maintain physical and mental health. Encourage a balance between academics, extracurricular activities, and leisure time.
- Encourage Hobbies: Introduce them to a variety of hobbies and activities, such as painting, music, sports, coding, or cooking. Attend hobby fairs or workshops together and show genuine interest in their interests and passions. Offer encouragement and praise for their efforts, even if they are beginners, and help them set aside dedicated time for their hobbies in their schedules. Balance is key, so they can manage schoolwork and hobbies effectively.
- Seek Professional Help: Professional help can come in the form of tutors, academic counsellors or educational psychologists, depending on the specific needs of the students and contacting local educational institutions or professionals who specialise in working with students in this age group to discuss your concerns and find the most suitable support for them.
Educators’ Role in Mental Health: Every Educator/Academician on campus plays a vital role in nurturing students’ mental health.
Most of the Institutions are providing these services, such as:
- stress management programs
- educating students about the importance of mental health
However, the aforesaid services should be systematised. iIt is always advisable to conduct these programs every fortnightly or monthly or can be included as a part of their academic curriculum.
Parents, educators, and society as a whole must work together to create an environment that supports their emotional well-being. They face and providing the necessary tools and resources, we can help them overcome these formative years with resilience and confidence.