Mpower launches ‘Minds Matter’ – A progressive Mental Health Curriculum for Schools

India is at a stage in the Coronavirus pandemic when most families have been home-bound to prevent the spread of virus. While many states have been in complete or partial lockdown over last three months, stress levels have risen both at work as well as domestic fronts. In such a scenario, many adults have been vocal about their mental health concerns and the importance of staying mentally healthy. However, children have not been able to articulate their issues; hence it becomes imperative now more than ever to address their mental well-being at an early age.   


With this objective in mind, Mpower, a pioneer in Indian Mental Healthcare, will be rolling out a progressive mental health literacy curriculum for schools, ‘Minds Matter’, which views success in terms of behavioral changes and a gradual, demonstrated understanding of mental health and wellness among students. ‘Minds Matter’ is a comprehensive, research-based and distinctive curriculum to be adapted during the school hours and interwoven in the timetable for grades 1 to 12. ‘Minds Matter’ will thrive to build mental health awareness among children and youth, foster empathy and aid them to discover ways to combat stigmas attached to mental illness prevailing in India.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), behaviour or eating related problems, anxiety, mood, and depression are some of the commonly diagnosed mental disorders among children and adolescents. World Health Organisation states that in some countries, more than one-third of adolescents with mental health conditions receive their mental health services exclusively at school. As children spend more time in school than in any other formal institution, school plays a pivotal role in providing mental health education blended with seamless and well-coordinated interventions.


An absolutely hands-on ‘Minds Matter’ syllabus crafted by mental health experts covers sensitive and significant topics such as ‘bullying’, ‘body image’, ‘gender discrimination’, ‘understanding sexual harassment’, ‘coping with bereavement’, ‘dealing with self-harm and suicidal thoughts’, ‘understanding disabilities within a classroom’, ‘eradication of racism’, ‘homophobia’, ‘helping children through a divorce or abusive home environments’, among other key issues.


On the launch, Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Mpower, said, “I have always believed that Mental Health Education needs to be an integral part of school curriculum. Today, I am very proud to introduce a structured curriculum ‘Minds Matter’ which is a result of research-based models and collective years of experience of our team in understanding child and adolescent mental health. This is a step forward towards our vision of stamping out the stigma. I truly believe this body of knowledge which seeks 360-degree participation from students, their peers, teachers, parents and family members, will bring about a transformational change and paradigm shift in our attitude towards the mental health of children in India.”


Since inception, Mpower has been at the forefront of tackling mental health issues across India. After the outbreak of Covid-19, Mpower has seen a rise in new cases of mental health concerns like anxiety, stress, depression and paranoia. To address these, Mpower has been providing counselling and therapies through video-calling and telephonic/online conversations to help people tide over these difficult phases. Additionally, Mpower has been sharing health advisories and tips with parents, professionals and families to better handle everyday situations. Recently, Mpower launched ‘BMC-Mpower 1on1’, a toll-free 24x7 helpline number 1800-120-820050 in an exclusive partnership with Maharashtra Government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).


About Mpower:


Backed by Aditya Birla Education Trust, Mpower is a holistic mental health care initiative, which has become the pioneer of mental health awareness in the country. Since its inception, Mpower aims to create an ecosystem where people with mental health concerns and their caregivers receive professional support, care and acceptance to facilitate their recovery, without facing discrimination or shame. With the help of holistic care, interventions and treatments that are world-class and multi-disciplinary, Mpower is dedicated to ending the stigma associated with mental health. Mpower hopes to help in bringing about change in the public perception of coping with mental health concerns. Currently, Mpower's clinical footprint is in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa and Pilani.


About Aditya Birla Education Trust:


Aditya Birla Education Trust (ABET) is an organisation committed to the cause of education and mental health, with an objective to nurture young minds. Right from establishing the Aditya Birla World Academy, an International School with an Indian soul, to The Aditya Birla Integrated School, which acknowledges the need to cater to children with different learning needs, ABET has always prioritised the importance of a child’s overall development. Further under the aegis of ABET, the Aditya Birla Education Academy provides professional development opportunities for educators, and engages, empowers and equips them to contribute towards shaping the future of young minds. In an endeavour to stamp out stigma surrounding mental health concerns, ABET has established Mpower, a holistic mental health care initiative, which has become the pioneer of mental health awareness in the country. Aditya Birla Education Trust runs under the zealous leadership of its passionate and committed Founder & Chairperson, Mrs. Neerja Birla.


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