The Commune: Reframing adolescent mental health

Dear friends,
When the pandemic began in 2020 – now what seems like ages ago, I noticed that all the children in my building were initially excited by the sudden change in their schedules. Their school days were shorter and remote, and they were mostly at home. But as the days, months went by, their restlessness grew. How much longer will they be studying remote? When can they go back to playing? How can they communicate with all their classmates who they used to spend time with daily? Their lives had changed so much that it was distressing.
From living in unprecedented times to dealing with the effects of the pandemic, children have been impacted in numerous ways and this has resulted in a much-needed increase in discussions around children’s wellbeing. Some of the research in India is showing us that 60% of the country’s children were unable to access education online; play has become harder because of the effects of COVIDchildren are isolated from their peers; even child marriages in the country have increased.
Even before the pandemic, psychological distress was a huge factor in how children experienced the world. And of course, other marginalisations like gender, conflict, poverty, religion, impacted their overall wellbeing. This has demanded that mental well-being be seen as an interconnected concern which requires our immediate attention. However, there is also greater need for us to listen to children and their experiences. These aspects led us at TCC to explore adolescent mental health through the entire month of September. We ask questions on what the trends are we are seeing in adolescent mental health, how can we support children better and what are the many impacts of not doing so. Through our conversations on the podcast and on our social media, we will be diving deep into understanding adolescent mental health and how can we shift our focus to one that centers the lived experiences of children and adolescents everywhere.
We hope you will join us and share your reflections too.
Team TCC

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