On 21 & 22 July 2023, GD Goenka University in collaboration with Fortis Mental Health Program brought together school counsellors from across the country for ‘VARTAH: Values – Awareness – Reform – Thrive – Action – Hope. A summit on Managing Risk Behaviour for school children.
An innovative national level school counsellors’ summit, VARTAH aims at nurturing a positive mental health culture within educational ecosystems, offers a distinctive platform for school counsellors and educators to engage in conversations focused on awareness, reforms, and actions concerning the well-being of children and adolescents.
The event featured insightful expert talks led by distinguished speakers from King’s University Canada, James Cook University, Singapore, and several experts from international education. Sessions focused on risk identification, proposing practical solutions to prevalent issues and challenges in child and adolescent mental health and examples of how these issues are managed across various geographical and cultural landscapes globally.
Dr. Samir Parikh, Chairperson, Fortis National Mental Health Program said “Empowering children in their formative years with skills for life that help them navigate through ups and downs with confidence, self-belief and resilience is essential, that takes them on their individual paths of success, are able to have meaningful relationships and contribute to the society. A focus on mental health and well-being as an integral part of education is critical to ensure positive overall growth.”
Prof. (Dr.) Anjali Midha Sharan, Dean, Research & Development and School of Humanities, Social Science and Education, GD Goenka University said: “VARTAH shall focus on
de-stigmatizing mental illness and enabling counsellors with skills required for helping adolescents in vulnerable environments. This shall be an extension of the University’s focus on propagating mental well-being and integrating psychological health into mainstream education. The event brings together mental health experts, school counsellors and teachers creating opportunities for dialogue around action required for propagating psychological well-being of the youth.”