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Empowering adolescents with life skills education in schools - School mental health program: Does it work?

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Author(s): Srikala Bharath | Kishore Kumar K

Journal: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
ISSN 0019-5545

Volume: 52;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 344;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Adolescents | impact | life skills education | psychosocial competence | school mental health program

ABSTRACT
Aim : Mental Health Promotion among adolescents in schools using life skills education (LSE) and teachers as life skill educators is a novel idea. Implementation and impact of the NIMHANS model of life skills education program studied. Materials and Methods: The impact of the program is evaluated at the end of 1 year in 605 adolescents from two secondary schools in comparison to 423 age, sex, socioeconomic status-matched adolescents from nearby schools not in the program. Results: The adolescents in the program had significantly better self-esteem (P=0.002), perceived adequate coping (P=0.000), better adjustment generally (P=0.000), specifically with teachers (P=0.000), in school (P=0.001), and prosocial behavior (P=0.001). There was no difference between the two groups in psychopathology (P - and adjustment at home and with peers (P=0.088 and 0.921). Randomly selected 100 life skill educator-teachers also perceived positive changes in the students in the program in class room behavior and interaction. LSE integrated into the school mental health program using available resources of schools and teachers is seen as an effective way of empowering adolescents.
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