Stress management : Counseling in schools

What is stress ?
y Stress is the pressure under which you are placed by

daily life. y It can be positive and spur you into action to meet a deadline. (deadlines, bills and errands etc) y but too much stress can put your health at risk and leave you unable to function.(bereavement, divorce, new job, house move and marriage)

Stress is an individual problem what debilitates one person will be invigorating to another. 1)EUSTRESS Eustress or positive stress occurs when your level of stress is high enough to motivate you to move into action to get things accomplished. 2)DISTRESS Distress or negative stress occurs when your level of stress is either too high or too low and your body and/or mind begin to respond negatively to the stressors.


often related to what we think we should be doing versus what we're actually able to do. y Stress is a function of the demands placed on us and our ability to meet them. adults tend to view the world of children as happy and carefree. .y As providers and caretakers. friends. y So stress can affect anyone who feels overwhelmed even kids. or school. such as family. y Plenty! Even very young children have worries and feel stress to some degree. These demands often come from outside sources. But it also can come from within. jobs.

What causes stress among children? Things that cause stress are called stressors. For example: y going to a new school y divorce or separation of parents y winning an award y taking a test y death of a relative y being sick y world news y etc .

Some signs of Stress Physical (body) Headaches Nervousness Rashes Stomachaches Fast heartbeat Perspiration Increased urination Mental (mind) Lack of Concentration Forgetfulness Drop in school performance Unable to study Carelessness Bored Anger outbursts Nightmares Sad/depressed Scared Withdrawn Fighting Emotional (feelings) .

4% : emotional disorder (anxiety of depression) 6% had a conduct disorder (behavioural problem). 1%had a less common disorder (such as autism. .A study y A 2004 survey conducted by The Office for National y y y y y Statistics found that approximately one in ten children and young people aged 5 16 had a clinically diagnosed mental disorder. 2% had a hyperkinetic disorder (such as ADHD). eating disorder or mutism) and around 2% were found to have more than one type of disorder2.

y y y y y y The survey also found that there were certain sociodemographic groups in which mental health problems were more prevalent. such as: Single parent families Reconstituted families In families were there were lots of siblings Where parents had no higher educational qualification Where neither parent was working Where there was low income .

y Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. . often keeping their thoughts and feelings hidden away as they are unaware of the help available to them. Children suffering from mental distress may be unable to understand what they are experiencing and why they are feeling the way they do. y Mental health problems will usually bring about a complex set of emotions which even adults have difficulty understanding let alone a child.

Counseling y Definition: Counselling is a process that focuses on enhancing the psychological well-being of the client. such that the client is then able to reach their full potential. which in turn empowers you to adopt more constructive life practices. development. This is achieved by the counsellor facilitating your personal growth. . and self-understanding.

. y Individual Counselling can address issues of low self-esteem and allow the sufferer to be more realistic about her or his abilities and can help them to be more assertive. which may have prevented them from adequate self-protection.y Counselling can identify a person s particular triggers for stress and help to re-assess the value system.

decrease in performance etc counselors play a very important role. understand and seek help for a problem. . binge eating. a child may be confused and upset by what is happening to them.Why is it important in schools? y Children are extremely vulnerable to mental disorders and unlike adults who have the ability to identify. self harm. y To prevent and take measures when stress affects children negatively like substance abuse. Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Zambia) . United States). Turkey. Finland. Botswana. Malta.School counselor y A school counselor is a counselor and an educator who works in elementary. college access. Japan. and group and individual counseling. Mexico. school counseling is provided by educational specialists (for example. Romania. and high schools to provide academic. Israel. y In other cases.India. Nigeria. middle. and personal/social competencies to K-12 students. y In some countries. school counseling is provided by classroom teachers who either have such duties added to their typical teaching load or teach only a limited load that also includes school counseling activities (for example. The interventions used include developmental school counseling curriculum lessons and annual planning for every student. South Korea. China. Taiwan. career.

ability to withstand pressures. acceptability. have to be part of the learning process .Examples y In California . sense of enterprises. self-image. counseling is not only mandatory from K-12 but there is also a Mandated School Counselor-to-student ratio: K-8 (1:350) 9-12 (1:250) y CBSE schools have also included periodic counseling services in the curriculum because of observing this need that exercises in building self-concept. counseling is mandatory from grades 7 to 12. y In Maine. sportsmanship etc.


y Children (aged 5 to 16) y Teachers y School counselor y Friends .Methodology For the primary research we conducted interviews with.

Children ( 5 to 16 ) y Rachna: My dad is in the army and he keeps getting posted to different places within 2 to 3 years. . I get very scared about how I will make new friends in my new school.

. Every Friday we would have a professional counselor come over and kids could go and talk to her. (Air Force School.Teachers Mrs. Pune) y Counselling was included in our school. we do not have these professional counselors anymore. y It is a teacher s role to observe kids and if a child is stressed or there is a drop in his/her performance we get to know very soon. Now that the new principal has become in charge .

Giving the child attention and getting him in confidence is important. y Usually it is family problems and also exams. y We encourage participation in class and we also tell the other kids in absence of the stressed child not to make fun of his/her answers and also do positive reinforcement. y After trying for sometime we involve parents to help the child sort out and deal with whatever is bothering him. y .We try talking to the child to identify why he is worried or distracted.

Jaipur) I have studied at MGPS and after I passed school my principal offered me a job as the school counselor. show their drawings. . paintings etc. whether they are being bullied. Prerna ( MGPS. If I have to involve the child s parents I have to carefully otherwise the child may react badly.School counselor Ms. talk them through it and just be there for them. A lot of students come to me with their problems. made fun of or sometimes just want someone to talk to. My Job is to help them .

I wish I could help her . I know I could have stopped her and helped her. y There was this girl. she had just come to me for one session. y .I ve had cases where a child stood up to the bullies and I ve had cases where the child was too disturbed to be helped. y Sometimes it haunts me . After a couple of days she called me and said she wanted to meet me before the next scheduled session. I told her ok but she committed suicide.

I told my servant that my mom is not my real mom and that I m adopted. I started ignoring family meetings and didn t talk to my siblings. I felt unwanted and the way they behaved made me feel like I was the extra one . . I used to make up stories to seek sympathy from everyone else. I am the middle child.Friends y Shweta* (name changed) As a child I had a lot of problems. I felt as if my parents didn t love me as much as they loved my siblings.

y Prerna was a big help. y Now at 22 it may sound foolish but it wasn t for me.y There was no counselor. Teachers I could have spoken to but I chose to goto friends. I went close to a rope. No one to talk to as such. y In std 10 I did think of dying. . All I needed was attention then. pills but never had the courage. A counselor would have helped. thank god. I was troubled. She told her mom about how stressed I was and asked her mom to talk to my mom.

y OUR personal experiences .


counselling for addiction etc. but of late. not all schools in India find this an important issue but considering the problems the students. counselling in schools have also become prevalent. y We have heard of counselling for marriage. teachers and parents are facing. y However..Conclusion y Counselling has currently become an integral aspect in our life. it is essential that counselling is taken a little more seriously . counselling for jobs.

If there is counseling they will at least be aware of the help that they can get. y Counseling plays a vital role in holistic development of an individual. it is essential the child has someone to talk to because everyone is not candid with their parents.Conclusion y Children often do not know what s happening to them and why they feel the pressures they do. . y In the building years of life.


2. 1. parents and teachers since they are professionals with an unbiased approach who would identify the problem and offer solution to overcome the obstacles faced. If the school cannot afford a professional counselor all the time then periodic counseling should be included. 3. .It is very important to have counsellors in schools that could bridge the gap between the students. Counseling should be made compulsory for all the schools.

Teachers take initiative or also be the counselor for the school. 4. . Spread awareness about counseling and its benefits to the children in schools. Stress on counseling being for positive outlet of discussion rather than for troubled kids only. 5. 6.