Nehal Sequeira, Head – Counselling & Special Education, Orchids The International School

Nehal Sequeira’s expertise as a Psychologist and a Clinical Hypnotherapist, allows her to deal with varied areas in counselling including parental counselling, child counselling as well as academic and career counselling. Presently, she is working at Orchids The International School, as the Head of the Department of Counselling & Special Education.

 

From ‘Sanitizing Hands to ‘Sane’tizing Minds’, Mental Health Awareness has risen phenomenally in the new normal.

The Evolution of Mental Health:

There was a time where most people denied the concept of mental health by calling it a myth. However, given the ever-evolving nature of this field, it has overpowered the ignorance and continues to show its presence in almost all sections of the society. Over a span of these years, the field of mental health comes forward with many transformations, of which most are positive.

Mental health is more than the presence or absence of a mental illness. It is a crossroad between emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. As we are aware that the pandemic has affected everyone at multiple levels, it has taken a serious toll on the mental health of so many around us. Social isolation, disconnection from family members, quarantine, lockdowns has led to a feeling of frustration and helplessness, not only in adults but also in children. Studies have shown that children are amongst the worst hit population during this pandemic.

New Education Policy:

These days, the use of the term mental health is not only limited to hospitals and patients, but it’s importance is also largely felt in schools, colleges, universities as well as in corporates. With the introduction of the New Education Policy (NEP) and its emphasis on mental health, many schools have begun to ensure that they are well equipped to meet the needs of students with special education needs. Schools have made it mandatory to have a counsellor and a special educator on board to understand the needs of the students who fall in the special needs category. This has given rise to a new era in the world of Schooling & Education, where the concept of Inclusive Education has stepped in which focuses on educating children with disability and learning difficulties, along with the other children, under the same roof.

Inclusive Education:

The concept of bringing SEN students into mainstream learning proves to be extremely beneficial for these students in terms of their cognitive functioning as well as social interactions. This setup in schools has led to an increased awareness and sensitivity in the young minds about those who require extra assistance.

Keeping in mind the quote of Ignacio Estrada, which states, ‘If a child can’t learn the way we teach, we should teach the way they learn’, professionals in the field of mental health continue to work with surging zest to serve the children who give and receive a little more of everything. With their expertise and experience, they have been guiding each and every child in the school to create an identity of their own.

There is no greater satisfaction than seeing a child take a small step towards improvement; no matter how long he or she took to get there. With immense amount of dedication, she continues to touch and transform lives of many students, teachers, parents directly and indirectly.

Towards Global Acceptance:

Considering the level of awareness and acceptance in the education industry, this field is sure to come up and serve many across the world. The importance of mental health is going to grow leaps and bounds and the acceptance that it receives today will double in the coming years, in order to save and channelize the lives of all people.

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