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Literature Review

1/5th of India's population is comprised of ADOLESCENTS

20%
80%

Upto 20% of adolescents have one or more mental health / behavioral issues

Every hour, a student commits suicide in India

SUICIDE IS AMONGST THE TOP 3 CAUSES OF DEATH IN YOUTH WORLDWIDE

WORLDWIDE

9.8 million teenagers in the age group of 13-17 years suffer from depression and other mental health issues.

EVERY THIRD CHILD IN INDIA IS BULLIED

Substance abuse

10%

of drug addicts start below 14 years of age

65%

of drug addicts start between 15 - 20 years of age

70%

of drug addicts BLAME THEIR PEERS for their drug addiction

WHAT WE HAVE VS. WHAT WE WANT

In the above video we could see a significant gap between the positive life outcomes vs. negative life outcomes amongst a population with essentially the same biological make-up. In the present times we are witnessing an all time high in adolescents and young adults being engaged in delinquent activities.

THE GAP

2 CHILDREN - SAME BIOLOGICAL MAKE- UP

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Is pursuing a job s/he loves, keeps in touch with friends and family, takes therapy to deal with difficult emotions

Is unable to keep a job for long, doesn’t keep in touch with friends and family, smokes to deal with difficult emotions

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

No

Yes

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WHAT?

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MATE

1. BETTER COPING

2. ADAPTABILITY

3. GRIT

4. ATTITUDE

5. SPIRIT

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BETTER OUTCOMES IN LIFE

tha gap

MATE works at bridging this gap and leading more adolescents towards favourable outcomes by equipping them with skills such as resilience, critical thinking and greater cognitive flexibility

Bridging the Gap

Attitudes

Culture

Neighbours

Media

Household Economic Condition

Mind Activation

health service

school

Child

peers

family

Through Education

Social Networking Site

Political Environment

Extended Family

Ideologies

Faith

bridging the gap

The model presented above is an adaptation of the Ecological Systems Theory proposed by Urie Bronfenbrenner in 1979. According to this theory the development of a child results from the interaction within various subsystems that constitute his/her environment. The first system comprises aspects that interact directly with the child’s development - parents/caregivers, school, peers and the healthcare system. The second system primarily explains the interaction within the subsystems involved in the first circle - such as parents and peers, parents and schools.

MATE is an overarching program that encompasses both these systems thereby focussing on the individual as well as their contexts. Working on adolescents entails equipping them with a skill-set that would enable them to cope better with different stressors that one encounters in the due course of life. As far as the context is concerned through this project we also aim at involving schools, parents and educators to see how they can aid the process of positive growth and development in their students and children respectively.

NEW DAWN

A new outlook on holistic schooling

Schools serve as the foundational stone to nurture young minds, shape their thought process, equip them with mechanisms where they would be able to apply their knowledge and skills in the real world and go on to become global citizens and world leaders.

In this journey of evolution, the schools today try their best to keep up with the technological advancements and developmental pace of the world providing a whole lot of choices to their students to exercise from. But what we have lost in the process is the emphasis on the spirit of learning and seeking knowledge.

The relentlessly growing rate of competition in the society today has knowingly or unknowingly forced students into entering the rat race and following a well-defined path even though we were the ones who taught them in lessons that choosing the less travelled road makes all the difference.

A lot of schools today have begun to bridge this gap, provide education that aims at holistic well-being and alternate ways of learning (Montessori approach); several programs have been initiated to address the rising mental health concerns in school children (life skills building programs, mental health awareness workshops etcetera).

What MATE proposes is a new alternative which encompasses all the aspects of positive mental health in terms of building core competencies and virtues in students regardless of their mental health status. One program that caters to all and at the same time is customized as per the needs of each student.

As an educational institution, one shoulders the sacred responsibility of ensuring quality education and learning for each child enrolled in the school. We wish to share that responsibility and work on making what is already good, a bit better.

Embrace to evolve

Collecting new learnings on the way to positivity.

Adolescence is a phase of great turmoil and transition. This period is marked by adolescents moving from being dependent on their caregivers to being independent, mature and autonomous. However, this age is also marked by critical conflicts and challenges, the successful resolution of which determines the kind of individuals they would grow up to be.

Adolescents today are overscheduled with activities: constantly running from one commitment to another and spending lesser time playing and exploring themselves, their wellbeing, environment and life. Statistics related to adolescents’ adult life outcomes are more dark and disconsolate than ever. Be it the ever increasing suicide rates among Indian youth, or the prevalence of depression and substance dependence within this population.

World today is changing at an exponential pace. While colossal technological advancements, non-stop bombardment of stimuli (information), urbanization and globalization have paved the way to boundless possibilities, unfortunately it has also led to significant distress, unhealthy competition and the choice paradox which has further led to an individual always feeling discontent and inadequate.

The need of the hour is to allow young minds to have space and opportunity to experiment and explore. To make their own choices. To learn how to fall and get back up. To focus on overall growth, evolution and well-being.

In light of the same, we at project MATE aim to build and enhance resilience in adolescents by building their self-awareness, cognitive flexibilities, fostering critical thinking, socio-emotional learning, neurobiology of emotions and feelings and several other components that would help adolescents to better deal with future stressors and challenges in a healthier and more adaptive manner.

POWER TO EMPOWER

Adopting a work-in-progress approach

Parenting entails within it the most challenging task i.e., of raising a happy, healthy and confident child and consequently a healthy functioning adult. Much of our behaviors as an adult- whether adaptive or maladaptive have their roots in childhood, in our interactions and experiences with our primary care-givers.

Over the last few decades we have been a witness to a plethora of socio-cultural changes. Some of these include the shift from living in a joint family to nuclear families, from men being the sole breadwinners to women contributing to the household income equally. What has also changed is the approach that parents adopt towards rearing their children. To our great dismay there neither exists a one-fit-for-all approach to parenting nor any universal guide on how to raise your children right! Thus, parenthood has been rightly referred to as a constant work in progress.

While bringing a new life to existence is the most beautiful and rewarding of all things but it also comes with shouldering a life-long responsibility towards that life. Knowing that every big or small thing can have a consequence on the child’s overall well-being and their perception of the world, the job is prone to becoming tricky at times.

We at MATE believe that the key to raising healthy functioning and cheerful children lies in empowering them by making them more independent, self-reliant, resilient and hopeful towards their own lives, their future and the world at large. To do so, parents have to constantly work on themselves, be open to learning and understanding the epoch in which their children are born in, leaving their own power aside and becoming the adults they want their children to become.

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