The Tale of Two Schools: Investigating the Understanding of Mental Health by Students, Parents and Teachers in Rural and City Bangladesh. The main aim of the study was to investigate the understanding and attitudes of mental health held by students, parents and teachers using strength and difficulty questionnaire scores and qualitative responses. Attitudes towards mental health and well-being are important as they can increase stigmatization and prevent young people seeking help and support.
Mental health stigmatization can prevent seeking help and worsen youth mental health. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines, have provided evidence that awareness programmes can facilitate support for youth with mental health issues. Students and parents undertook a semi-structured interview, designed to explore their understanding of mental health and to assess the needs of individual student’s. Questions explored access to education, educational histories, aspirations, responsibilities that impact attendance, stressful events, family dynamics and any known learning difficulties.
Therefore, to support the primary prevention of mental health, we need to understand mental health and well-being in the environment and context in which they exist. If mental health is higher amongst students within the rural community, then its key narrative is appears to be poverty. Although we cannot eliminate poverty, we can encourage the development of the relationship between student and teacher, and school and parent; we can provide an understanding of what mental health is and how to support someone who is struggling with their mental
health and well-being within their existing communities.
This study found high mental health needs in both a rural and a city school located in Bangladesh. Despite both schools showing a high prevalence of mental health needs, the results showed that overall mental health needs in the rural location was significantly higher than in the city location.