Mumbai Schools Champion Mental Health At School Fest ‘The Happy Place’
The Aditya Birla World Academy hosted 17 schools in Mumbai including students from Nahar International School, Cathedral and John Connon School, JB Petit High School for girls
Mpower of the Aditya Birla Education Trust co-hosted the third edition of India’s first student-led inter-school mental health festival called ‘The Happy Place’ where young students came together to explore and share their understanding of mental health in our society, in their own unique way.
The Aditya Birla World Academy hosted 17 schools in Mumbai including students from Nahar International School, Cathedral and John Connon School, JB Petit High School for girls, Hill Spring International, St Xavier’s, DY Patil- Nerul and JBCN International School, Oshiwara
Bollywood singer, Armaan Mallik at the event said, “I’d like to congratulate all the students and teams who took part in this wonderful initiative on the occasion of World Mental Health Week. Mental health is a very important issue amongst teenagers and young adults. Today, social media is a very big influence on youngster’s life as it makes other people’s lives look better than they actually are. The grass always seems greener on the other side and sometimes gives birth to some complexity amongst individuals and impressionable youngsters.”
Neerja Birla, Founder, and chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust, said, “It is critical that we start young and sensitize children at a younger age about various aspects associated with mental health. To address this critical need, we began The Happy Place, 3 years ago and since then we have seen a positive change in the perception of children about mental well-being. Through the festival, they are more involved and aware of mental health and are ready to champion the cause. We hope to create young leaders of tomorrow who are aware of their surroundings and help encourage others to speak up when they need help.”
Every year, ‘The Happy Place’ sees enthusiastic young students indulge in conversations around mental health, to talk about mental health wellness in India through workshops, engaging activities and creative competitions across 2-days over the weekend. Students of various groups across Grades 8-12, brought their unique energy, ideas, talents, and passion, to deeply engage with the topic of mental health through varied academic and artistic media. This included – dance, music, film-making, photography, drama, public speaking and research.
‘The Happy Place’ initiative co-hosted by Mpower was the ideal platform for an alliance of Mumbai’s educational institutions to provide the required stimulus to steer the conversation on mental health in a positive direction. With this unique approach, Mpower and Aditya Birla World Academy aim to pave the way for future change-makers who will propel the mental health revolution forward.
Manya Bajaj, a student from the Aditya Birla World Academy who actively participated in The Happy Place, said, “We all had topics that were very serious in nature. However, we couldn't believe that we could address mental health issues in a fun way. Being a part of the core team, it was only when I started working on the fest that I realized how important it is to at least have a conversation about mental health issues. I am glad that through The Happy Place, we were at least able to sow the seeds of a dialogue.”
Akshat Jain, a student from the Aditya Birla World Academy who actively participated in The Happy Place, said, “I participated in the street play competition and our topic was PTSD. It was such a sensitive topic to handle. But I am grateful that my team could showcase our talents nit just our acting skills but our sensibilities about mental health issues without any stigma attached to it. After all, we want a safe space and a safe community for each one of us here.”
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