Labeling it a “worrying trend,” a national mental health survey conducted by the Center has found that an overwhelming majority of students at the middle and high school levels are concerned about academic pursuits.
The survey findings, based on responses from nearly 3.8 million students nationwide, also identified “frequent mood swings” as an area of concern across grades, gender and types of schools
Up to 81% of respondents reported that academics are the cause of their anxiety. Among this cohort, 49% identified studying as the main trigger, followed by exams and results (28%).
“Although slight gender differences between genders are evident, girls (50%) were slightly more anxious than boys (47%) about their studies. The social status attached to good academic performance creates anxiety in students to perform well. Therefore, the studies themselves are seen as an important factor,” according to the report which summarizes the findings of the survey conducted between January and March this year.
The survey results indicate that a wide range of issues ranging from academics, personal independence, social interactions to peer relationships, career concerns and subject specializations have an impact on students’ mental well-being .
The report shows that happiness was the “most experienced emotion among students, which saw a decline as they moved into higher grades.” “Slightly more than 50% of the students expressed being perceived as happy by the people in their lives.”
He also suggested that middle school students had “relatively less social support” to “discuss their feelings” because of the “significant developmental changes” during the transition from middle to high school.
This includes “advances in cognitive abilities and strategies, self-reflection skills, self-regulation skills, reasoning, logical thinking, perspective taking, and expanded socialization.”
Respondents who identified as the third gender showed “low confidence in physical appearance and trusting others” due to the absence of a “support system.”
Although the survey results varied by school type, the majority of respondents “were satisfied with their school life”. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya showed utmost satisfaction in this regard. While Kendriya Vidyalaya students were “confident about their physical appearance”, students from private schools reported a “lack of confidence about their body appearance”.
The students stated that relying on their friends and family, and practicing yoga and meditation, were among the most effective “coping strategies.”
To support the holistic development of students, the report recommended the integration of emotional literacy into the curriculum, the use of “assessment and evaluation” for all school activities, and the fostering of an “environment of care and trust”.
The Manodarpan Cell together with the Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations of Education, NCERT conducted a survey in different schools of the country to explore the perception of students regarding their mental health, at intermediate (6-8) and secondary. stages (9-12) of education.
The assessment of the student’s mental health was based on their “perception of: (i) self, (ii) self as seen in social context, (iii) satisfaction with life ( personal and school), (iv) emotions experienced, (v) fears and challenges and (vi) strategies to face and manage their emotions.