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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 344-349

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


Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Bharath Srikala
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: Project Funded by the Department of State Education, Research and Training, Bangalore, under the Department of Public Instruction, Karnataka. The secondary schools from the four selected districts participated in the project with orders from the department., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.74310

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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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