Tag Archive for: mental health

Lessons that Should be Taught in School

Written by Felya Amaraputri Andhini, Social Media Admin intern at Project Child Indonesia

From the age of six, we spent five out of seven days getting our formal education in school. We learned how to do the basics; how to read, count, and write. Then, when we are in a higher level of education, the lessons also become more varied and complex.

Subjects like physics or math surely can be a gate for us, as students, to get to know about what we want to pursue in the future. However, as we grow older, we are faced with real world problems which solutions are not written in the textbook that we carried around during elementary or high school. Important things such as how to pay taxes or how to have better stress management are knowledge that we must find by ourselves. 

Have you ever felt so pressured by the amount of homeworks and exams during school years and didn’t know how to handle that so you just let it pass? Or didn’t you feel concerned when you read some news about how a young girl got pregnant? Looking at those problems, here are some of the lessons that should be taught in school.

The Importance of Our Mental Health
For twelve years, school gave us lessons about physical education. They taught us how to stay fit and active. However, it is important to note that our well-being needs to be taken care of too. Most of us, as students, experience stress or anxiety because of the pressure they get from school. 

Teaching about stress management or how to be aware when they’re feeling like they’re at their lowest point is very important because that knowledge can stick for a very long time. That’s why schools should be able to increase their role in spreading more awareness about mental health.

Financial Literacy

When we were children, surely we were always told either by our parents or teacher to save our money. They said that if we save our money, we can buy whatever we want. But not all children were taught on how to spend their money efficiently or how they should think about their necessities first before spending the money for what they want. 

As we grew up, we just then realized how important it is to have knowledge about budgeting; how to allocate our money for future plans, for emergency funds, or how to pay taxes later on. Introducing the basic concept of budgeting at a very young age will be very beneficial for the children’s future. 

Sex Education
It is known that schools in Indonesia haven’t been really paying attention to teach their students about the importance of sex education. Most schools only teach about the limited aspects of reproductive health, mainly about the threat. They don’t really touch the subject regarding consent, sexuality, or the psychological effects and sense of responsibility that one should have in terms of this matter. 

Even within a family, discussions about reproductive health or sexuality is something that can be seen as culturally unacceptable. The lack of education or awareness about this proves the fact that this topic is still a taboo subject.

Those are only three (of probably many) things that should be taught in school. Although some people may receive those lessons from their parents, wouldn’t it be very beneficial if the school provides lessons that can be applied to our everyday life in facing the real world?

Changes in Children’s Mental Health During Covid-19

Written by Lubna Hanifa M, Grants Researcher Intern Project Child Indonesia

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people worldwide in different ways. Most people, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity have experienced its effects in one way or another, perhaps changing their lives forever. The pandemic has threatened not only global physical wellbeing, but mental wellbeing as well. 

Amongst those at risk are school-age children who are currently at crucial periods in their life for learning and socialization. Thanks to the pandemic, many students are experiencing consequential damage to their mental health which may have enduring long-term effects. 

The Switch from Offline to Online Schooling

First and foremost, one of the major consequences of the pandemic has been the widespread closure of schools. The drastic shift to online learning – that is still ongoing, even now – has the potential to trigger further mental health problems as they interfere with numerous aspects of a child’s life. For school-age students, peer groups hold an incredibly crucial role in their lives. Furthermore, regular school days provide structure and routine for children. As they are robbed of these critical things, feelings of loneliness and uncertainty become common. As a consequence, children may become more dependent and clingy towards parents. If these feelings persist and are severe enough, further problems may arise that negatively impact their mental health such as depression or anxiety.

Costs of Self-Isolation and Quarantine

In addition to school closures, children who have experienced or are undergoing self-isolation or quarantine may also experience detrimental effects in regards to their mental health. Young children in particular are susceptible to grieve the parental separation, as parents are key individuals in that life stage. Moreover, children who had experienced mandatory self-isolation were more likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, as well as adjustment disorder.

Feeling Unsafe at Home

For some children, the major risk factor to their safety actually comes from their own households. The prolonged time of staying at home exposes them to dangers they would otherwise be able to avoid by going about their daily routines before the pandemic hit. Social isolation in abusive homes is a specifically pressing issue. Increased stress and economic uncertainty experienced by their parents is a factor that can potentially exacerbate the occurrence of domestic violence and abuse. Such family situations can lead children to feel increasingly restless, anxious, or irritable in addition to being physically threatened. In some cases, it is possible that the child has experienced pent up emotions as a result of prolonged stay at home periods, thereby making them more prone to conflicts with other family members in the household. 

All in all, although certain regulations are in place to protect children and their families from the virus, these restrictions might actually inflict unintended harm. The urgency for regulation-makers to balance the threat of the virus in addition to the threat towards the public’s mental health, especially that of children, must be taken into urgent consideration.