Expert in health awareness and children development has tasked the parents and teachers on the proper monitoring of their children mental well being.
The Chief Executive Officer, Pinnacle Medical Services, Dr Maymunah Kadiri made this charge in her lecture at the 11th Total School Support Seminar/Exhibition (TOSSE) held in Lagos.
Addressing the topic, “Mental Health in Education: An urgent need”, she decried the fact that the children mental well being is generally a neglected part of the educational system.
According to her, depression is a serious mental illness and children also get depressed because they are vulnerable.
Maymunah explained that half of all mental illnesses begin before the age of 14 and two-third (2/3) before the age of 24 and it can be hereditary.
While agreeing with the position of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on this, she maintained that children’s emotional and physiological behavioural well being demands careful observations and care from their parents and also the teachers because the children spend most time in school.
“Teachers should be more attentive to the kids. This is a Parent/teachers partnership”.
Speaking with BusinessRemarks, Maymunah reckoned that parents and teachers are so engrossed in the physical well being but the mental agility, teaching them resilience are very important issues to take note of.
The CEO defined mental health as the ability to deal with ones’ feeling and behavior in a good and acceptable manner despite stressors.
She therefore encouraged parents to embrace intentional parenting in order to curb or fight against mental illness or depression. She added that Intentional parenting nurtures good communication link with their wards and also helps to boost their confidence of expression.
“Parents and teachers must be all intentional in parental upbringing; listen to them not judgementally but to understand their point of need rather than seeking them to understand us (parents/teachers).
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‘We understand that parent can be busy trying to make ends meet but they must embrace international parenting which creates room to accommodate their children excesses and encourage them to express themselves freely.
She also urged parents to be aware of what their children are going through.“With the advent of technology, the pressure has increased; the social, parental, peer and personal pressure.
“Depression is a symptom of a serious mental illness.”Depressed children kill themselves to relieve themselves of the pain. The good thing is that depression is treatable while suicide is preventable”, Maymunah pointed out.
“When parents fail to understand or know the children, they will not understand what has changed in them when depression sets in.
Speaking further, she noted that teenagers suicide is not a new thing on the increase rather it showcase that we are becoming aware that children depression is real. This facts help to buttress the point that children can be depressed.
However, she urged the parents and teachers likewise to take good care of their health too , most especially their mental health.
“You can give what you don’t have. Depressed parents and pressure teachers must get help too. They also need to look after themselves before they can deliver positive results in parenting”, she said.
In addition, Maymunah called on the government to ensure policies are put in place to ensure that registered school should have an in-house proper counsellors or psychologist.
“Let them ensure that educational sector is more holistic, teachers should be mentally aware and let the government ensure that policies are properly implemented in the education sectors”,she stated.
On her part, the convener of the event and founder of TOSSE, Mrs Yinka Ogunde called on the government to seek creative ways of solving the problems within the sector, ensure continuous training of education professors, embrace technology and not to politicize the education sector.
According to her, government must make competent people be in charge of the Ministry while embarking on a national re-orientation program using the education sector as the flagship.
“This will lead to transformation in the young lives, family and society at large while ensuring that everyone keep up with the fast changing world.