India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years. According to ‘World Population Prospects: The 2015 revision’ Population Database of United Nations Population Division, India has the world’s highest number of 10 to 24 – year-olds, with 242 million. As per India’s Census 2011, Youth (15-24 years) in India constitutes one-fifth (19.1%) of India’s total population.
Need For Youth Mental Health Program
According to World Health Organization (WHO), At least 20 percent of young people are likely to experience some form of mental illness such as depression, Mood disturbances, Substance abuse, Suicidal behaviors, Eating disorders and others. This translates into a huge population of young people are at-risk or experiencing mental disorders in India and leading to significant morbidity, Mortality, Individual and societal costs. Moreover, The limited availability of resources for the treatment of mental health issues in general and especially for young people and stigma against mental disorders in the community has compounded the youth mental health issues as a major health problem in India.
About Your Mental Health Program
Schizophrenia Research Foundation-Youth Mental Health (SCARF-YMH) is a specialized dedicated program to cater for the mental health needs of youth (age 15-24). This program started to address the youth mental health and related disorders under one roof involving different stakeholders from the community and mental health professionals.
Mental Health Promotion
Under this activity, mental health professional team from SCARF would deliver mental health promotion and positive mental health topics to the school and college students. In these interactive sessions, we would be using audio visual aids for better communication and Give information sheets on the same topic. The sessions would end with a discussion and queries from the students would be addressed.
Training The Teachers
Here, the teachers would be empowered with the skills and knowledge to identify early signs of common mental health issues in the students which would facilitate early treatment and better outcomes. Also, teachers would be trained in handling their stress through appropriate coping techniques and stress management.
Strengthening Mental Health Services In Schools & Colleges
This activity is to create and strengthen the mental health services available in the schools and colleges through regular workshops. School and college counselors would be trained to deliver interventions for common mental health issues in the students and referral if needed. SCARF would be monitoring and helping with these activities in an ongoing basis.
Screening For Mental Health Issues
Under this activity, mass screening for mental health would be conducted at the start of the schools and colleges to all the students. This would help us identify students who are in need and can be referred for early intervention. For this, mobile application based technologies would be utilized for easy and quick screening maintaining the anonymity of the students. The mental health team from SCARF would discuss and facilitate the proper referral of the students for further help from qualified mental health professionals.