Title : Effectiveness of life skills training to enhance mental health status and wellbeing of children and adolescents
Introduction: Childhood and adolescence are crucial periods for laying the foundations for healthy development and good mental health. An individual’s mental health status and wellbeing crucially affect their path through life, and they are vitally important for the healthy functioning of families and society as a whole, together they affect the social cohesion, and prosperity of the Nation. Children and adolescents are one of the precious resources in every country, if they can be given the necessary life skills need to thrive, that may be able to meet the challenges of everyday life. Hence, World Health Organization has been promoted life skills education since 90s (WHO 1996). Early intervention and life skills training programs would be beneficial for reducing crime in children and young people, improving productivity, increase coping skills and resilience to stress and preserving mental health and well-being in older age (Cooper et al., 2009). Aim: To study the effectiveness of life skills training to enhance mental health status and well being of Children and Adolescents. Objectives: To study the mental health status and wellbeing, effectiveness of intervention and the status of respondents after intervention. Research Methodology: A classical experimental research design with control group and random sampling method was used. The population consists of 720 adolescents (16 -19yrs of age group) both boys and girls from six higher secondary schools (3 Govt. and 3 Private schools: Girls, Boys and Coeducation) in Kerala, India. The population is divided into intervention group and control group with 360 respondents each. Tools used for data collection: The standardized tools administered for the study were GHQ-28 and WEMWS-14. Socio-demographic details, family function assessment and general health condition were assessed using an interview schedule. Statistical Analysis: Independent sample t-test was performed to compare the equality of baseline scores of various components of the mental health status and well being of the two groups. RMANOVA was performed to test whether there is any significant effect due to interventions in the scores. Result: The effect of intervention tested by RMANOVA procedure over three timelines show that there was highly significant intervention effect between the scores of mental health status and wellbeing. The p value is less than 0.05, leading to the conclusion that there is significant effect in Mental Health Status and wellbeing due to intervention. i.e., intervention is effective. Conclusion: Hundred percent of respondents in mental health status group and 99.1% of respondents in mental wellbeing group were benefitted from the intervention program. The scores of two questionnaires are negatively correlated at 0.01 level of significance, giving the desired result.