Press release

Union Minister of Education launches UNESCO’s mental health guide for students in India

30 October 2020, New Delhi:  UNESCO New Delhi launched today its publication, Minding our Minds during COVID-19: a guide to help foster positive mental health for students in India, towards its continued efforts to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19 on the education system. 

The guide was launched today virtually by Honorable Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister of Education, Government of India, in the presence of high ranking officials from the Government of India, Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, representatives from other UN Agencies, stakeholders and partners. 

Children and adolescents are more vulnerable and have been experiencing a heightened level of stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 crisis. UNESCO’s guide therefore will deepen our understanding in this regard and help the education system to better respond to the mental wellbeing of students.
Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Honorable Minister of Education, Government of India
The pandemic is causing significant psychological impact worldwide. For children who were already dealing with mental health issues before, this sort of disruption can lead to even more difficulty in the path to a good education. Minding our Minds guide has practical and constructive solutions to address these challenges.
Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director

The coronavirus pandemic has caused more than 430 million children in South Asia to rely on remote learning, who could now join the 32 million children who were already out-of-school. The long-time closure of educational institutes has hindered the growth as well as affected the mental health of students.

Divided in five modules, the guide is designed for principals, head-teachers, teachers and parents to help alleviate the stress and anxiety that the school going children are feeling.  As the schools reopen in India, the course will be a useful reference as well as an advocacy tool for not only enhancing the understanding of mental health issues within their students and children, but also to scale up their efforts in helping them manage their mental wellbeing.  

The guide is an extended version of a set of posters, Minding our Minds which were released earlier this year in multiple languages including English, Hindi, Tamil and Sinhala. These posters provided guidance to children, women and families who may be experiencing anxiety during the pandemic. 

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