A Mann Ki Baat, the new pioneering series on mental health issues on Doordarshan, is now about to focus on children. In a statement, the programme’s anchor Avdesh Sharma says that “children are the foundation stone of upon which our society will be based tomorrow; and when that foundation becomes weak, the hope for a stronger society becomes bleak.”
An increasing number of children are suffering from more stress than their young minds can handle, leading them onto problems both mental as well as physical. The changing context of family is perhaps the biggest reason behind this growing problem. With families going increasingly nuclear, with both parents working, more single-child or single-parent families, rising divorce rates etc, the support system for the child is weakening. The child usually finds no-one to turn to when he/she wants to talk. Children are communicative by nature. We have to give them opportunities to communicate their joys, their sorrows, their needs and their fears without the fear of being judged.
Children also face a lot of stress as far as their education is concerned. They are under pressure from their parents, the school system and increasingly from themselves to excel in every aspect of their school life, whether it is academic or co-curricular.
Adolescence, the transitional stage of development between childhood and adulthood, represents the period of time during which a person experiences a variety of biological changes and encounters a number of emotional issues. Adolescence can be an especially turbulent as well as a dynamic period of one’s life. The sudden changes that takes place and a lack of ability to understand and cope with them makes adolescents sensitive as well as vulnerable. Mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia, Mood Disorders such as Depression, Bipolar disorder, and Anxiety disorders can initially show manifest in adolescence years.
In the episodes, aired every Wednesday and Friday at 8.30 a.m. on DD National, various areas of stress and conflict during the childhood have been dealt with in a solution focused manner. The discussions involve leading experts who have worked with children as counselors, psychologists and