On the 18th, 19th and 20th November, 2019 I conducted 3 sessions for teachers to raise awareness on mental health and well-being. Teachers dedicate their entire lives to students and forget along the way that they too are human beings and have limits. Thus, they overexert themselves to the point of unmanageable stress.
I felt like it was only right to give back to them and help them to the best of my abilities. For that reason, on the first day, I conducted a session on “Teacher Burnout”. Here, I spoke about the different symptoms, signs, causes and ways to manage it. Towards the end, I also spoke to them about “Suicide Prevention for Students” seeing as the year 2019 was deemed as the year for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Promotion. Towards the end of Day 1, yellow ribbons, (yellow being the colour for suicide prevention), were handed out to the teachers to showcase their solidarity to the cause.
On Day 2 and 3, I conducted Expressive Art Therapy sessions; the teachers were asked to make mood/vision boards to help them de-stress and spend time on self-reflection. Mood boards are charts or boards filled with words or pictures that showcase emotions and personal goals. Many teachers really benefitted from this as it helped them give clarity and express their creativity and artistic talents on paper. The sessions ended with Literary Therapy, wherein the teachers were asked to write motivational letters to their future selves. This, again, allowed the teachers to tap into their emotions and get a better understanding of themselves through words.
As a student of Psychology, these 3 days pushed me to acquire new knowledge; to become more knowledgeable, through research. It also pushed me to be a better communicator and more caring for the teachers that help me, as a student, on a regular basis. It was extremely fulfilling to see them really appreciate the endeavour! I plan, in the future, to hold these kinds of sessions for students who are dealing with the burden of exam stress and school pressures. In my opinion, it will be extremely beneficial and impactful for them, just as conducting these sessions were for me.
By – Lynette George
IBDP 1 Student
Batch – 2019-2021