A team from The Banyan recently carried out an awareness programme with school children at the government primary school, Peryanemmeli. It is important to conduct awareness programmes amongst rural primary schools as children find it easy to pass on information to others in their village. The Banyan hopes that, with awareness programmes like this, stereotypes of mental health will be eliminated in the future.
An amazing number of primary school children – 113, from grades I to V, together with five of their teachers and the Principal eagerly attended this programme run by The Banyan.
After The Banyan Team, comprising Kumar, Gajalakshmi, Sahaya Mary and Mary Helan, had discussed the programme with the Principal, he was keen to help and provided microphones and speakers.
The children were very enthusiastic especially when they saw that it was going to be a puppet show!
There were two characters in the puppet show named “Puli Kutty” and “Kili Kutty”. Community workers Kumar and Gajalakshmi were the voices for these two characters. The programme started with an introduction to The Banyan and information about the services they provide.
Then the puppet show began! The puppets educated children about mental health using storytelling and conversations between them and the puppets.
The children were really excited and were so happy to watch and listen to the puppet show and they were eagerly answering the questions asked by “Puli Kutty’’. The children grasped the scenario of mental health easily and were able to answer the questions!
More fun and excitement followed with a quiz. Five questions were asked and they were all answered correctly. The children who answered the questions correctly were given a gift. They were delighted to receive a scale, an eraser and a pencil, which were gift-wrapped.
An ice breaking session was also held. Social worker Sahaya Mary played games with the children and they too received gifts.
It was great to see that the Principal and the teachers were motivating the students to participate in the quiz and the puppet show. The team received great feedback from the staff and Principal who found the session very useful. They suggested that the team from The Banyan should conduct more awareness sessions on mental health in government schools in other Panchayats.
After such a fun afternoon, the children were treated to refreshments from The Banyan team and left the school that day very happy and pleased to have learned about mental health.
Thank you to The Banyan team for raising mental health awareness in the community!
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