Catholic Schools programs to promote well-being in the classroom and preserve mental health – Spanish Church

Organizations such as ‘Save the Children’ or UNICEF reveal that three out of ten students suffer from some type of mental health problem. Disorders that are reflected in an increase in anxiety, stress, autolytic behaviors, eating problems such as bulimia or suicidal ideation.

A reality that Education cannot face without the support of administrations or families, as ECCLESIA has warned the director of Pedagogical Innovation of Catholic Schools, Irene Arrimadas.

“In order to intervene and prevent these cases, it is necessary to do it with a systemic approach. That is, not everything can be solved from school. When these problems exist from the social and educational context, the educational community, parents, teachers, administrations, policies and society in general have to intervene. The school alone cannot ”, she has claimed.

However, Arrimadas has claimed many of the measures adopted by the centers to improve the well-being of students and educational staff, such as action protocols against bullying or coexistence plans that facilitate a climate of well-being from schools, of welcome, of companionship that favors this mental health.

In any case, the person in charge of Pedagogical Innovation at Escuelas Católicas warns that it is not enough, so the budget should be increased so that they land in the reality of the classrooms.

Among the measures proposed by Irene Arrimadas is to promote observation work to detect possible mental disorders among students, reinforce the role of counselors and tutors or greater involvement of families.

“The counselors must accompany the students from Infant because in Secondary these possible difficulties are more difficult to solve. As for the tutors, they are essential because they are, in the end, the professionals who spend the most hours with our children and students throughout their schooling”, he explained.

Undoubtedly, the role of families is a necessary agent in the prevention of cases. And it is that as Irene Arrimadas emphasizes, parents are the “main educational agents of children”. For this reason, she has advocated training families in order to encourage their participation efficiently.

Bullying in schools

Bullying is one of the main enemies of mental health in educational centers. It is estimated that one in five children in Spain are bullied, although no more than 15% of the victims decide to tell their parents or teachers.

Bullying methods have changed among young people. Somehow it is a scourge that has adapted to digital times: “Now it is not so common to say ‘four eyes’, or fat to an overweight person. That would be more through social networks, not being in front. In the classroom these things are not said”, assures in ECCLESIA Marina, a 4th year ESO student at Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Madrid.

“Before you were exposed to these accusations as if it were a work schedule, but now we have the phones in our rooms all afternoon, they write to us, they notify us and we read that someone insults us. They no longer insult you in a territory that is not yours like school, but in your own room, in your safe zone. This pierces morale”, admits Martín, Marina’s classmate.

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