In a country where mental health is often talked about in whispers — if it’s discussed at all — I was surprised, and happy, to recently see a photo of a new counselling room set up in a high school. It is one of two rooms established in schools in Melamchi, close to Kathmandu.
Other rooms should be completed in coming months in Baglung District, says my guest on today’s episode, Ranjita Maharjan from Sambhavya Foundation. The three-year-old organization is already counselling students in 13 Nepali schools and aims to put a dedicated room in every school. A spike in mental health issues, and suicide, among Nepalis during the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated plans.
“It’s about making students feel safe,” says Ranjita, “whether it’s a counselling room or a classroom or a playground.”
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Thanks as always to Nikunja Nepal for advice and inspiration.
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