In the current context of lock down and restriction of movements, children have constrained access to socialization, play, and even physical contact, critical for their psychosocial wellbeing and development. School closures are preventing children from access to learning and limiting their interactions with peers. Children may feel confused and at loss with the current situation, leading to frustration and anxiety, which will only increase with the overexposure to mass and social media, especially among adolescents. Some adults may struggle to find ways to explain and communicate with children about the current situation in a way that is understandable by this age group, which will add frustration and disquietude.Keeping in view, these alarming concerns to the safety and security of the children, CCPCR designed a training programme to better equip school counsellors to enable them to understand how to manage Covid-19 related stress, fear and anxiety, and provide them a toolkit to better manage child related issues.Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR) in collaboration with Govt. Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh organized the two-day training programme for school counselors at Auditorium, Chandigarh Judicial Academy, Sector 43, Chandigarh. While speaking on the occasion Mrs. Harjinder Kaur, Chairperson, CCPCR said,” While school closure is recognized as a successful preventive strategy for the spread of COVID-19, it might also have high psychosocial and educational costs. Social isolation, for instance, may lead to reduced peer and support networks for children.
In addition, teacher could be unprepared for them after joining schools, therefore CCPCR organized a training programme for school counselors to reduce the risk for children. “Ms Niti Mohan, Programme Convener said “The training programme for mental health promotion in schools is designed provide psychosocial support to children to deal with the pandemic at large and better equip them “.Dr. Deepika Lamba in her lecture recognizing signs of psychological distress needing specialized help highlighted that Each adverse situations or critical episode in our lives has a unique demands be it social, physical , psychological or intellectual. These demands affects individual coping resources and triggers a particular response.” In the lecture “Recognizing signs of Psychological distress needing specialized help”, Dr Jyoti highlighted that collaborative approach among teachers, parents, school counselors and mental health professionals is required as need of the hour”.Ms Archna Sharma in her lecture “Understanding Emotional Needs of Vulnerable Children” highlighted that Good mental health helps them develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.The dissemination of the session through the group activity was evaluated by Dr Monica Singh & Ms Pooja Punchhi members CCPCR. 6 Counsellors were awarded on the occasion for the dissemination.Dr Arzoo Gupta, Assistant Professor, GMCH 32 in her address said, “The failure of Emotional development includes heriditary concerns, parenting and life stress. As Indians, our encouragement and praises are non verbal. For our Children, we need to learn to start expressing affection.”