Mental health is the balanced development of the individual's personality and emotional attitudes which enable him to live harmoniously with his fellow men.
In 1959 W.H.O. Expert Committee on mental health reviewed the various definitions of mental health and observed that mental health is influenced by both-biological and social factors It is not a static condition but subject to variations and fluctuations in degree, It is the capacity in an individual to form harmonious relations with others and to contribute constructively to changes in his-social and physical environment. '
However, mental health of the children is much more important than that of the physical health mental fitness makes children more useful person in the world and also equipped physically, socially and morally.
Mental health is the health of the personality as a whole and the most important function of education and schools is to secure the mental health of boys and girls.
Physical fitness, is not an end in itself, but is a means' of promoting the mental and moral health of a child. The two factors which retarded the mental health are the feeling of insecurity and the feeling of inferiority It makes the child menially timid and uncreative. They lose confidence and self-initiative.
The feeling of inferiority causes in them frustration and a sense of unworthiness which is difficult to root out even with the most stimulating educational environment and schooling. This feeling of inferiority is dangerous and results in repressions and inhibitions of certain reactions which strike at the very root of harmonious development and of mental health.
Similarly the feeling of insecurity which is clearly discernible in small children gradually passes away as they grow up. But, if the feeling persists in them they will remain uncertain of himself and incapable of constructive and courageous action and will be imitative rather than creative.
Healthy mindedness is essential for constructive and productive work and its cultivation is one of the important tasks of the educator. So all possible measures of exercising their instinctive powers and their sublimation should be provided by the teacher For the saneness of our thinking, health and physical strength are absolutely necessary.
However for developing mental health of the children following measures should be taken in to consideration:
(i) The primary responsibility of the teachers in this connection is to infuse in pupils an attitude of loyalty towards school Through example and precept they should show that they are interested in pupils welfare and development, and that they are their sincere well-wishers. An attitude of friendship towards the pupils should be developed by the teacher. Because, love, affection and friendship are the positive forces for the manifestation of latent potentialities that is there in child
(ii) The teacher should give freedom within their limitation to the children for exercising their powers of choice and judgment and treat all children equally and impartially. They should try to assure pupils emotional stability and eliminate undesirable maladjustment from which they suffer
(iii) Proper situations should be provided to the pupils for cultivating the qualities of punctuality sincerity, self-reliance, co-operation, sympathy and good will. The children should be trained to adjust themselves with the environment, to be cheerful, to avoid worrying and to see things in the right perspective.
(iv) Individual attention should be given to the children and their problems should be dealt by the teacher sympathetically.
(v) Parental co-operation should be sought for understanding children and giving them the confidence that both the teacher and parent are interested in their welfare.
(vi) As far as practicable the evil influence of the external environment should be protected and controlled. Proper emotional attitudes should be inculcated. Sex instinct should be properly sublimated specially in the delicate and stress period of adolescence.
(vii) The school programme should be interesting and sufficiently extensive to keep the pupils engaged and help them to cultivate good habits and cherish healthy ideas.