28 May 2021 | Source: Oswaal Books Editorial Board | Join the Discussion
As per a report published by UNICEF, at least 332 million children were impacted due to the lockdowns impacted by the pandemic, putting their mental health and well-being at risk.
That’s one in seven children.
2020 has been a time of severe academic disruptions, leading to huge stress in the lives of school going children. Educational institutions and students in the country were forced to quickly adapt to new ways of teaching and learning. Though best efforts are being made to ensure continuity of education, transition to online learning, there certainly has been undue stress on everyone involved.
Studies have reported an increase in mental health issues ranging from anxiety, mood swings, outbursts arising from the disruption of daily routines, isolation from friends and peers, and home confinement with little or no access to teachers, peers, or physical activity. Adolescent learners have also struggled with issues like unsupervised internet use leading to self-harm and suicidal behaviour.
To counter such problems, CBSE has launched a new app “Dost for Life” – which is an exclusive psychological support and counselling app for students of CBSE affiliated schools. The app also provides support for parents of these children.
The overall objective of the app is to improve the psycho-social wellness of students, along with providing support for dealing with anxiety, depression, internet addiction disorders, specific learning disabilities and so on.
Literally translated, Dost for Life means a friend for life. Currently, students across the entire country are experiencing unprecedented stress and anxiety. They are struggling with massive uncertainties – right from change in their learning schedules, postponement of exams, delay in commencement of admission processes, with no clear timeline of return to normalcy insight.
In such a situation, CBSE’s intervention is very timely and relevant. Many students are facing listlessness and severe mental health issues. Many students have found solace in online and digital media. The excessive consumption of online content is leading to health issues such as irritability, mood swings, repressed social skills, social withdrawal, and disruptions in eating and sleeping patterns, shortened attention spans, difficulty in comprehension and concentration, and detachment from the real world and family members.
This is also exacerbated by the change in the environment at home. In the pandemic, families are struggling with pressures of work, financial problems, uncertainties in the economy. These factors create undue pressure on children, exposing them to emotional and psychological stressors.
The changed routine affects the students movement, exercise, sleep, study and rest pattern, manifesting itself in severe healthcare challenges such as unhealthy diets, emergence of vitamin deficiencies, borderline obesity, adolescent diabetes, and other healthcare issues.
CBSE’s Dost for Life can help adolescents deal with all these external macroenvironmental changes by getting help from experts counsellors and credentialed evidence based resources.
The initiative was launched on Monday, May 10, 2021, and at present, the app is available on Google Play Store and can be accessed through any Android phone. Students and parents can login by entering the registered mobile number and their CBSE registration number. They can access the live counselling through the chatbox.
What methods do you use for alleviating exam-related anxiety? Have you tried using the Dost for Life app yet?