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Teachers should be trained and oriented about mental health issues among children, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday noting that it would help them to identify such problems early. He further stressed on including understanding of mental health among children in teacher training curriculum.

On Tuesday, the minister launched the UNICEF's global flagship publication, 'The State of the World's Children 2021 - On My Mind: Promoting, Protecting and Caring for Children's Mental Health'. 

Mandaviya also stressed on the fact that families should encourage their children to talk freely and have a dialogue with them to be able to address any emerging mental health issues early.

He said, “It is important that in families all the members sit together and parents must treat their children as friends and ensure a free dialogue takes place so that children are able to talk freely. They should also observe closely the changes happening in their behaviour."

Second, comes the role of teacher, the minister said. 

"Orientation and training classes should be organised for teachers and understanding mental health issues among children should be made part of their training curriculum. Teachers should be adequately trained to identify subtle and not so subtle symptoms of emerging mental health issues among children and refer them to psychiatrists for treatment or counselling so that their problems can be addressed early," he said.

"Fourteen per cent of children in the world are facing mental health issues, it's a serious problem and if we will not address it on time then it will have an adverse effect on society," he added. 

"When the second wave came, there was a problem of medicine, oxygen, (and) demands were coming from all quarters. All this used to give me mental stress too. At that time, I used to do cycling, yoga every morning, which used to give relief," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)


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