Emotional well-being gains prominence at school
Next March will mark three years since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and paralyzed our lives like never before. The lockdownthe restrictions of mobility and the uncertainty that the virus caused may now seem distant, but there are effects that are still being felt. Various studies confirm that the pandemic has increased or brought to the surface numerous mental health problems and the child and youth population has been among the most affected.
«The confinement led to many symptoms related to depression, anxiety, in students who did not want to go to class. They told us that we had to promote social networks to communicate but then we had to leave and that step has caused many pathologies, “he explains. Ana. She is one of the four counselors who are going to start the new Emotional Wellness Program Promoted by the Junta de Andalucía to cover the needs that students may have in these important areas.
Ana, Blanca, Elizabeth Y Carmen just joined the Provincial Technical Team for Educational and Professional Guidance (ETPOEP), together with which they will develop this program aimed at the entire educational community, but which will emphasize students in the last cycle of Primary Education, Secondary, Baccalaureate Y Basic and Intermediate Vocational Trainingboth from public and subsidized centers.
In total, in Andalusia they will be 25 the counselors that will promote the training actions and actions of this innovative initiative that begins as a pilot program during this course but that has a vocation of permanence.
«The emotional field has always been worked transversally in education but for some time so many needs have been arising that we are looking for a way to give an adequate response from the educational field”, he details. Aurora Diaz, Head of the Educational Organization Service of the Educational Development and FP Delegation.
And it is that the pandemic has left many minors without developing the necessary tools to face the world and the consequences are worrying. «We had them locked up for a year and they could not build those tools. Now certain situations are very difficult for them and that is where these symptoms come from, “he explains. Sergio Padial, of the Provincial Cabinet for Coexistence and Equality.
The problems derived from the pandemic have added to those that already existed. Bullying or cyberbullying and stereotypes image-related are the best known, and unfortunately the most common, and are leading to situations as serious as those self harm and even the suicide.
The Emotional Wellness Program is based on the formation of faculty and management teams, in addition to the familiesin emotional well-being and mental health so that they are able to detect and prevent these cases. As a reinforcement, in addition, the figure of the Well-being Coordinator is being created in the centers.
The new counselors, always hand in hand with ETPOEP, after receiving extensive prior training, will begin their work with actions such as the organization of conferences in which they will present this program to the Wellness coordinators.
The key is prevention. For this reason, for example, they will report the risk factors for suicide which, they affirm, can be “from personal, lack of ability to cope with problems, cyberbullying...». This last factor is considered especially important as a trigger for situations that affect mental health and has motivated the creation of the figure of the Digital Assistant Student. A mediator who will be assigned one or more of their peers to help Y raise awareness in the good use of social networks.
The dissemination of good practices that serve to promote emotional well-being and prevent the misuse of technology for avoid addictive behaviors and cases of harassment.
“A very important thing is also that We not only seek direct attention with the student who may have a difficulty, but to raise awareness throughout the educational community. We cannot hide, for example, that suicide is present. You have to take advantage to work on those emotional tools,” he says. Aurora Diaz.
Besides the training and information, the counselors will also act at the request of the centers that need it in specific cases. Although, as Díaz recalls, referral protocols are very important both to Social services like Health. «We give an answer at the educational level», he points out.
All this work that is now being organized adds to the one that the ETPOEP It had already been carrying out with the elaboration of important resources such as a guide on the subject of self harm which can already be consulted on its website.
«Regardless of the origin, we are realizing in the educational centers of the need for emotional education and the much-needed training to work with adolescents,” says Lorraine Aguinaleoprovincial coordinator of ETPOEP.
In this same sense, Sergio Padial highlights another guide that they have developed on the ‘aesthetic violence‘, in relation to eating disorders and aesthetic stereotypes, which is being widely used in Malaga centers.
The ultimate goal of both this new Emotional Wellness Program As with all the actions that were already being carried out, it is none other than to improve the quality of life of the students. Take care of your mental health from school to have a healthier future society.