There have been several global reports on mental health that we have been made aware of and repercussions of which we are observing in our local contexts, of a radical shift in the psychological state of children, teachers and families.
The global pandemic and VUCA (Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) environment we are living in are adding fuel to fire. All of us, from a national to personal level, are struggling with our fair share of challenges currently.
Considering the school as an employer for teachers. Most of the psychological challenges for teachers or students pertain to emotional stress and anxiety. These non-verbal cues need unique skills and methods to tackle and in a proactive manner. This situation calls for a series of measures such as:
It would be helpful if we can create in our schools a healthy environment where teachers and students can freely speak about their psychological challenges to appropriate authorities so that we have a psychologically safe ecosystem that is solution-oriented.
As a practitioner myself, below are a few actions I would like to suggest:
The creation of a school culture that provides a safe environment for staff and students require time and resources. The truth is, there is no quick fix to it. It will not only save lives in the long run but also create a healthy systemic effect that adds to enhanced belonging to the organisation and meaning and purpose for all.
Goal Number 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 talks about the need to “…promote mental health and well-being”. Let’s turn VUCA to VUCA-PP and promote ‘Vulnerability’, ‘Understanding’, Collaboration and’, ‘Adaptability’ undergirded by Positive Psychology .
1. American Psychological Association. Apa dictionary of psychology. American Psychological Association. https://dictionary.apa.org/positive-psychology.
2. Edmondson, A. C. (2019). The fearless organization: Creating psychological safety in the workplace for learning, innovation, and growth. John Wiley & Sons.
3. WEAll. (2021, March 18). Home. Wellbeing Economy Alliance. https://weall.org/
4. What vuca really means for you. Harvard Business Review. (2014, August 1). https://hbr.org/2014/01/what-vuca-really-means-for-you.
5. World Health Organization. (n.d.). Mental health. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/health-topics/mental-health#tab=tab_1.
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