EuroSchool Launches a ‘Centre of Wellbeing’ aimed at holistic health and at fostering a culture of happiness and inclusion
Mumbai: EuroSchool, one of India’s leading school networks launched a ‘Centre of Wellbeing’. This initiative is designed to go beyond academic delivery. The management at EuroSchool has put together a dedicated team and action plan that aims to emotionally and mentally support its students, teachers, staff, and management across it’s network of EuroSchool campuses in India.
The rapid transmission of COVID-19 across the world has led to physical (health), social and psychological consequences impacting overall wellbeing.
Well-being is the experience of health and happiness. It includes physical and mental health, emotional and physical safety, and a feeling of belonging, sense of purpose, achievement, and success.
Among the various life lessons, this pandemic has taught us – the most important one is that of ‘resilience’. Schools have traditionally been looked upon as centers for academic excellence and all-round development of students. The present situation has transformed the role of schools to go beyond academic & extra-curricular content delivery and excellence. Ensuring overall well-being, mindfulness, and ensuring that children build resilience, etc., has increasingly assumed importance in schools.
The Centre of the well-being launched by EuroSchool comprises a series of power-packed initiatives aimed at supporting the well-being of the staff, teachers, students, and their parents. The immense moral, emotional, psychological, and financial support provided by the school management has helped all to sail through this difficult period with the least exertion.
The core objectives of the Centre Of Wellbeing (COWB) are as follows:
· To ensure wellbeing and excellence for all students of the school including children with special needs
· To be a key player in the upholding of the emotional and social wellbeing vertical of the school
· To ensure through the We Care 2.0 program, the emotional and mental wellbeing of the staff is taken care of
· The initiative includes powerful support tools like the launch of a helpline for seeking counselling from both students and employees. It was followed by a Leadership Team (ELT) meet of leaders with their respective teams – to ensure all leaders connect with every team member and encourage simple day-to-day conversations beyond work. In these sessions, leaders ask if anyone needs any kind of help and check on the wellbeing of those down with COVID, discuss team challenges due to remote working challenges, and general progress on the work front.
In addition to a dedicated focus on student and parent wellbeing, the COWB (Centre Of Wellbeing) initiative has 5 key pillars to support students, parents, school management and staff:
1. Set up of a dedicated helpline on phone and email for students, school staff & employees seeking professional counselling.
2. Webinars on Mental Health (in a monthly calendar) organized by Mrs. Sachu Ramalingam, Lead Inclusive Education & Counselling (Centre of wellbeing) for students, parents, teachers & school staff. Some of the people roped in are leading mental health professionals like Mr. Harish Shetty.
3. An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for all the employees of EuroSchool where they will be given medical advice on COVID-19 symptoms and vaccine do’s and don’ts etc through Zoom.
4. Organization of a dedicated COVID-vaccination drive for all employees in Mumbai city.
5. Regular virtual meditation sessions for 1 hour to relieve mental peace and tension, which can be attended by the students, teachers, and all employees of EuroSchool.
The goal is to support students, parents teachers & staff with a 360-degree mental health & wellness program in the COVID Scenario
Under the WeCare 2.0, the program will uplift all stakeholders and help overcome challenges in terms of stress (physical and mental), virtual schooling, and promote positive mindsets among teachers and students as we continue to work remotely. Following are the extensions of the WeCare 2.0 program-
· Counsel staff and students with anxiety & stress
· Provide doctors advice on COVID, stress, vaccination
· Have webinars with eminent speakers from the mental health and disability sector and have leading successful personalities address our students to motivate them and keep them focused
· Are appointing professionals such as special educators and counselors across all EuroSchools as per the strength of the children who need services to enable the need to be met
· Have SOPs & clear documentation to be followed as a mandate even post COVID
· Have structured individual plans with long term and short term goals for remediation of children with special needs (CWSN) and counseling plan for other children who are in need of counseling
· Career and subject choice assistance for all boards CBSE, ICSE and IGCSE or NIOS
· Modified IEP exams for children with special needs (CWSN) who are on an individual education plan in line with the board curriculum.
The initiative is led by Ms. Sachu Ramalingam, Lead – Inclusive education & Counselling (Centre of Wellbeing). On the occasion of the launch, she said “We are delighted to see this program coming to life after months of hard work and planning. The objective is to create a safer environment for our children as they embark on their learning journey. Children are safe at home and as educators it is important we make them also feel emotionally and psychologically ‘safe’ so that they can be positive and happy individuals. The program will provide all stakeholders a wide range of options from meditation, counseling, and a stress-free anonymous calling helpline. This is our step towards further building emotional intelligence, adaptability, and mindfulness.”
Rahul Deshpande, CEO, EuroSchool, said. “As the world recovers from the impact of COVID-19 and we continue to work remotely, ‘mental and physical wellbeing has assumed great significance. When we are in a positive and relaxed state of mind, not only can we fight stress well but also perform better and work better. With this in mind, we decided to launch the Centre Of Wellbeing and WeCare 2.0 initiative – an initiative that includes everyone: students, teachers, and our head office staff. We have the best counselors and mentors and an approachable management team that is here to ensure our EuroSchool family is positively motivated and stress-free. I believe that a healthy society starts with a positive mindset, in which teachers play a significant part. If teachers and school leaders are adequately supported & motivated, this will have a ripple effect on the minds of the students as well. We hope that our small effort will help in shaping the future of our EuroSchoolers and help them tide these challenging times.”