Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Wellbeing Sessions

Teachers with Gunjan
The wellbeing sessions which were a need of the core team, teachers as well as the students started in late July 2021. The sessions were conducted by a psychologist named Gunjan, based in London. Gunjan has studied in Dubai and is currently working in London as a psychologist. In this pandemic she attended a program which was facilitated by Ravi Gulati. She got to know about Manzil and started observing Manzil teachers' meetings.

The idea for the wellbeing sessions was generated when we were facing the second wave of covid-19. Gunjan offered her time to facilitate the session for our teachers, to equip them to handle the emotional needs of students and themselves effectively. When we started talking to our students, we realized that everyone at Manzil needed emotional support during the challenging pandemic time but since initially Gunjan’s sessions were meant for teacher’s meetings, Deepti (an old volunteer and a psychologist) offered to conduct them for our students as well. Megha (our volunteer and a psychologist) was the first person who took a mental health session during the first wave.

These sessions are really helpful and teachers are learning about how our emotions work and how we can listen to our students with mindfulness. Till now, in Gunjan’s wellbeing sessions, we have covered 6 such topics over multiple such sessions with our teachers which happen on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. Till now we have covered a vast range of topics ranging from light hearted ones like our culture and traditions to some serious ones like the 3rd COVID wave and how it affected us.

Gunjan has also started a series of sessions on mental health first aid where teachers, interns and core team members, learn how to identify if a student is suffering from serious mental health issues and how to address those.

Going forward we believe that in order to help the students it's very important to equip the teachers with the right information and tools on mental health.

Some of the topics that were covered:
  • Healthy relationship with our students and creating safe space for students 
  • Behavioral challenges
  • Stress management
  • Working of the brain
  • Definition of Mental Health
  • How to make relationships stronger
  • How to listen to students with mindfulness and empathy
  • How to relieve stress
  • How to overcome a limiting mindset
  • How to enable students’ wellbeing
  • One of our English teachers named Vipin Gaur, 35, shared with us, “The session was useful, and it is a great help in understanding the needs of our students. As a parent also it's a good thing to know what our child wants from us. If I am busy at work and my child draws a painting and he comes to me and shows it, I must take out a minute to appreciate him.”
  • “I learnt to be curious when asking questions or understanding why one is behaving in a certain way. I learnt to not make stories about others’ behaviour”. - Aarti Bhatt, English teacher.
  • क्लास प्लान क्यों करनी जरुरी है।चीजों को समझनी चाहिए, रटनी नहीं चाहिए।लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करने में जो भी बाधा आये पर हमें उसपे सोच विचार करते रहना चाहिए तभी हमारा लक्ष्य पूरा हो सकता है।"“(I learnt the necessity of planning a class. Things should be understood, not mugged up. If we meet an obstacle in achieving the goal, we should not give up. It is only then that our goal can be accomplished)”. -Umrawati, Early childhood education teacher.
  • “The learning process increases with age, it develops slowly. Parents should understand children and support them in different situations mentally and physically. Appreciation is very important for a student. Parents help their children at an early age with walking and other milestones. They should understand them at every stage. Our personality and behaviour changes with age. Activities were helpful in thinking of different ideas and definitions for a single thing”. - Gitika, Art and craft teacher.
  • In Gunjan's session I learn about my mind and how it functions and I can relate what I learn in Gunjan's session and in TLP both the learning are similar as well as give a new angle to see the situation with a different lenses, it makes me more excited to join her sessions more and more. - Himanshu Bhatt
  • We got to know about ourselves through Gunjan's session and personally helped me to fight with mental health issues. - Anonymous  

Written by Vandana Arya (Core Team Member)

Edited by Anuradha Kaistha and Vaibhav Sharma (Mz Volunteers)

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