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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123-125

Young minds: A proposed model for students' well-being in educational institutions


1 JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
2 Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Mandya, Karnataka, India
3 MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication2-May-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M Kishor
JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_17_1

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How to cite this article:
Kishor M, Vinay H R, Kusuma K S, Kantanavar P. Young minds: A proposed model for students' well-being in educational institutions. Int J Health Allied Sci 2018;7:123-5

How to cite this URL:
Kishor M, Vinay H R, Kusuma K S, Kantanavar P. Young minds: A proposed model for students' well-being in educational institutions. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Nov 22];7:123-5. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2018/7/2/123/231690



Sir,

India is the second largest country in the world with more than 1.3 billion people, and among them, young people form the largest segment in the Indian society. Millions of young minds are being nurtured in thousands of educational institutions across India. Their well-being is crucial for future of the nation and its progress. In educational institutions, the student's well-being is determined by how well they cope with both academic issues and nonacademic issues. Academic issues include Students ability to understand subjects, application of knowledge gained and imbibing essential skills of training. Nonacademic issues are friendship-relationship issues, substance abuse (alcohol and smoking), physical health, and psychological health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicide etc. One of the major areas of concern is suicide; student suicide in India is alarming, with 8934 suicides in 2015 alone according to National Crime Records Bureau. Since student suicide is multifactorial, apart from medical models and community models for suicide prevention, it is best addressed within the concept of students' well-being in educational institutions. There are few models such as zero suicide model which emphasizes on evidence-based practices for clinical care in general.[1] For students, one can find models such as “Precede-Proceed” based on online peer–peer interaction and “Mediation” model based on simple principle of mediating professional help seeking which are customized for western scenario.[2],[3] However, there is hardly any comprehensive model for India addressing student well-being in an educational institution. There have been some specific prevention models proposed for student suicide but not widely publicized.[4] As there is evidence that suicide can be prevented,[5] it is worthwhile to have a model-based approach. Any model proposed for student well-being should be student centric, student led, facilitated by teachers, and feasible for the educational institutions to implement. Here is an overview of the model we propose as “Young Minds,” a student-led, faculty-facilitated student well-being model. The model has three levels of hierarchy in functioning:

  • Level 1 (students' wing)
  • Level 2 (teacher/faculty wing)
  • Level 3 (administrative and experts' wing).



  Level 1 (Students' Wing) – Activities and Function Top


Every educational institution at the induction of any batch of students will conduct one introductory session on student's well-being, in which top academic issues of concern and nonacademic issues of concern are discussed and framework of “Young Minds Students' Well-being” team is explained. In a ratio of 1:25, student volunteers are selected from every batch and they are trained by a senior teacher in association with psychiatrist from government hospitals or private hospitals and psychologists wherever available. Training of volunteer students is in “peer-to-peer” counseling (buddy system/friend for a friend). The basis of this key process is that majority of learning and living happen in peer-to-peer environment in this phase of life. Young people also feel at ease in talking to or seeking help from someone of their age than to any other. The selection of volunteer in a buddy system is sensitive to gender ratio and geographical and language consideration of that particular batch of students. The training of volunteer incorporates essence of counseling such as do's and don'ts, art of listening, being nonjudgmental, empathetic approach that helps in problem solving, issues of confidentiality, role plays to rehearse scenarios, and learning steps in referral when needed.

The support system for student who opts for help or is advised to take help by teachers has three options to choose from.

Option A

Once a week at the designated place in campus, “Feel Free to Talk” (Peer to Peer) sessions are held for a period of 2 h. A list of volunteers in rotation shall be made available who are preferably seniors and of the same gender as the student who requests for a session. The team decides the rules and regulations. Preferably, there should not be extensive documentation. Student volunteers may recommend Option B or Option C if needed for any student seeking help.

Option B

In this option, a student counselor or clinical psychologist is available for students once a week for 2hours or as decided by the institution. That particular day can be named as “Feel Free to Meet counselor/psychologist” and a designated place and time is allocated. This option is also free for student and can be considered as additional option to any student in distress on any day.

Option C

In this option, male & female faculties are made available for students, once a week at designated place for 2 hours. That particular day can be named as “Feel Free to Meet Teachers of Your Choice.” The faculties are trained by a senior faculty with input from psychiatrist and clinical psychologist in the art of counseling in academic and nonacademic issues. The details are mentioned in Level 2.

The “Yong Minds” students' well-being team also carries out periodic activity in campus as decided from time to time with input from students and faculty. The activities are such that it helps students in academic and nonacademic issues such as “Fight Suicide Campaign/Expert Talk on Suicide Prevention,” “Smart Strategies to Excel in Studies,” “How to say NO to Smoking/Alcohol/Drugs,” “Mobile Phone and The Foe!!!,” “Friendship and Relationship,” “Coping Skills for Life,” and “Choosing Careers after the Course.”


  Level 2 (Teacher/faculty Wing) Top


A trained set of faculty (as mentioned above) from both genders (2–3 each) who supervise Level 1 (student wing) and intervene when Level 1 needs or requests for help or assistance. Level 1 (student wing) reports and updates to Level 2 (faculty wing) every 2 weeks or as necessary. Level 2 decides on documentation/referral. The faculties are also available to students as in Option C. Faculty in Level 2 is initially a volunteer, but by 3–4 years, every faculty in education institution should have been trained in basics of counseling and should have been part of Level 2. The basis of involving every faculty is that student well-being is but integral part of teacher/faculty responsibilities, and enhancing their skills immensely benefits students and institution.


  Level 3 (Administrative and Experts' Wing) Top


This level is available when Level 2 (faculty wing) requests for help. This wing has administrative authority, the principal, hostel warden, senior faculty, alumni and parent representatives, community leaders, and resource persons such as psychiatrist. They meet as and when required to discuss, to act on, to support, and to enhance student well-being measures.

This wellbeing model can incorporate further components as decided by stakeholders from time to time and can be boosted by technological backup such as online forums, resource centers with e-books, and links to additional support systems.[6],[7] The essence of this model is that there should be genuine concern for student well-being, willingness to initiate, support, and empower students and faculty for team work in every educational institution.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Brodsky BS, Spruch-Feiner A, Stanley B. The zero suicide model: Applying evidence-based suicide prevention practices to clinical care. Front Psychiatry 2018;9:33.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shanta Bridges L, Sharma M, Lee JH, Bennett R, Buxbaum SG, Reese-Smith J, et al. Using the PRECEDE-PROCEED model for an online peer-to-peer suicide prevention and awareness for depression (SPAD) intervention among African American college students: Experimental study. Health Promot Perspect 2018;8:15-24.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Wong J, Brownson C, Rutkowski L, Nguyen CP, Becker MS. A mediation model of professional psychological help seeking for suicide ideation among Asian American and white American college students. Arch Suicide Res 2014;18:259-73.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Kulkarni R. Suicide prevention amongst medical students: Towards a model for institutional approach. In: Kishor M, Vinay HR, Kiran Kumar K, Pandit LV, editors. Glimpses of Psychiatry for Doctors and Medical Students. 1st ed. Mysuru: Tara Printing Press and Publication; 2013. p. 62-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Namratha P, Kishor M, Sathyanarayana Rao TS, Raman R. Mysore study: A study of suicide notes. Indian J Psychiatry 2015;57:379-82.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
6.
Chandran S, Kishor M, Bhargava S, Jayaram R, Sundararajan R, Prabhu P, et al. An innovative concept book guide for MBBS students. Indian J Psychiatry 2017;59:525-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
7.
Kishor M, Bindu A. Concise Handbook on Suicide & Suicide Prevention for Creating Awareness in Educational Institution. JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research. Available from: https://www.jssuni.edu.in/JSSWeb/UDData/Docs/Ebook%20on%20Suicide%20Prevention-%20Simple%20&%20Easy%20to%20Use%20Strategies-Dr%20Kishor.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Mar 07].  Back to cited text no. 7
    




 

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