JAMMU : Acknowledging the importance of mental health, especially in the post Covid 19 pandemic scenario, more than 1000 Government schools of Jammu Division have created Happiness zones to provide safe and psychologically comfortable spaces within the school premises where students can talk about their feelings and emotions unhesitatingly and in a confidential manner.
These Zones are created as per directions of the Ministry of Education endorsed by Administrative Department School Education.
More such zones will be created in winter zone schools as the schools reopen after vacations.
In a first of its kind initiative, Directorate of School Education Jammu has directed all the Schools of Jammu Division from Middle to Higher secondary to create such happiness zones to provide psychosocial support to students as per Manodarpan guidelines. Trained Faculty Counsellors working in Counselling Cells of these schools are rendering their services in these zones.
MANODARPAN is an initiative of the Ministry of Education (MOE) Government of India (GOI) aims to provide psycho-social support and counselling to students for their mental health and well-being during the Covid 19 outbreak and beyond. The Covid pandemic is not only a serious medical concern but also brings mixed emotions and psycho-social stress for all.
Counselling cell DSEJ is organizing regular capacity development programmes, webinars for Teachers in collaboration with reliable institutions like NIMHANS Bangalore, Department of ICPS, BCPA, Departmentof Psychiatry GMCs to develop counselling skills in teachers.
Principal Secretary School Education Department B.K. Singh has emphasised creating a stress free atmosphere in schools. He recently visited a few of such happiness zones and enquired in detail about the counselling services being provided in schools.
Dr. Ravi Shankar Sharma, Director of School Education Jammu stated that students coming to schools after such a long gap may experience a heightened level of stress, anxiety, and fearfulness along with a wide range of other emotional and behavioural issues due to COVID situation. We need to be prepared to offer students a healthy and psychologically safe environment to safeguard them. Happiness of the child is directly linked with academic outcomes and to improve attention, retention of students we have to ensure mental health, safety and security of students.
Dr. Romesh Kumar Sharma, in charge Counselling cell said that constitution of happiness Zones in schools will create a culture of individualized guidance and counselling in schools. He added that creation of Happiness zones in schools will go a long way in ensuring overall well-being of students besides providing psychosocial support to them.
Pertinently, Directorate of School Education Jammu through its Counselling Cell has undertaken a lot of initiatives for mental health and well-being of the students.