Thailand’s minister of foreign affairs highlighted key messages to prioritize the mental health and well-being of children at the Transforming Education Summit (TES) side event co-hosted by UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO, and the Queens of Thailand and Spain in New York, USA.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai made the remarks during his participation in the international event held under the title “Mental health promotion and prevention in schools and learning environments: an urgent call to action for world leaders and donors.”
The event provided a forum for disseminating information and evidence regarding the impact of school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adolescents and the cost-benefit analysis of school-based mental health interventions. It is also a venue for securing public commitments from governments and donors to take action and invest in promoting and protecting the mental health and psychosocial well-being of learners and educators in the education sector.
During the event, the Foreign Minister discussed how to prioritize the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents in schools, emphasizing three key messages:
(1) Schools could help promote emotional health and mental well-being, as well as detect early behavioral changes and signs of mental distress while highlighting the School Health HERO initiative in Thailand.
(2) Schools can help prevent mental health issues by increasing students’ resiliency to daily demands and challenges, fostering self-confidence through goal-setting and mental health stability training, and cultivating positive thinking and the right mindset for change.
(3) Schools must provide a creative and conducive learning environment for all students, particularly encouraging students to make up for their learning and socialization deficits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Don also reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to transforming education to be a “booster dose of inspiration” for all children in the context of COVID-19 and beyond, as well as to continue investing in education to ensure that children grow and thrive with joy and optimism. (NNT)