Mental Health Wellbeing of School Age Children is Matter: A Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness of a School-Based Mental Health Awareness Program in The Middle Schools in Oman
Mental Health wellbeing of School Age Children
Objective: The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of a school-based mental health awareness program among school age children.
Methods: This was a quantitative study that recruited 178 parents and 150 students from different levels (Grades 5-10) attended the awareness activity at two middle schools in Oman. A convenient sampling approach was utilized.
Results: There was a significant different in mood and feelings score between the grades (p=0.001); with grade 10 being the highest disturbed mood changes (M= 23.25, SD= 5.54). The results also showed that 55% of students experienced anxiety. From the analysis, it was found that grade 10 (M=36.15, SD= 18.43, p=0.05) reported higher anxiety than others groups. The results indicated also a strong correlation between experience of bullying and mental health problems (r=0.85). The evaluation of awareness program indicated that 91% of parents reported improvement in knowledge; 89% suggested that many information they were not aware of before. 92% rated the video as informative. 93% agreed that the program activities were entertaining and informative. 92% reported that the activity increased their awareness to observe the changes in their children emotional wellbeing. 98% of parents enjoyed the activities and rated the overall program as effective and very interesting.
Conclusion: There is a dire need to conduct various awareness programs in the community. Such programs are not only helpful in improving the community knowledge on the factors influencing childrenâ€™s mental health, but also assist in identifying the mental health problems at early stage; which may empower them to seek early management for their children. This study suggests an establishment of a mental health program for children in Oman to identify the cases, assess the mental problems affecting children at different ages and refer them for further support and management.
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