Well-Being should be taught in school. Considering the phenomenal increase in cases of depression among the children attending school it is absolutely must that we taught well-being in our schools. By some estimates depression is about ten times more common now then it was fifty years ago. Typically in an American society this is not an artefact of greater awareness of depression as a mental illness, since much of the data arises from door to door survey the ask tens of thousands of people, “Did you ever tried to kill yourself?” , “Did you ever cry every day for two weeks?”, and the like without ever mentioning depression. Depression now ravages teenagers in India and sadly there is no organised study mapping it. It is hugely disturbing that in India we do not have official survey about a problem which is taking gigantic proportions among teenagers, Fifty years ago the average age of first onset was about thirty. Now the first onset is below age fifteen. While there is controversy about where this raises to the scary appellation epidemic all of us in the field are dismayed by how much depression there is now and how most of it goes untreated.
In his book named Flourish Prof Martin E. Saligman of University of Penn state that two good reasons that well being should be taught in schools are the current flood of depression and nominal increase in happiness over the last two generations. A third good reason is that greater well being enhances learning, the traditional goal of education. Positive mood producers broader attention, more creative thinking, and more holistic thinking. This is in contrast to negative mood, which produces narrowed attention , more critical thinking and more analytic thinking. When you are in a bad mood, you are better at what is wrong here? When you are in a good mood you are better at what’s right here?. Even worse when you are in a bad mood you fall back defensively on what you already know and you follow orders well. Both positive and negative ways of thinking are important in the right situation, but all too often schools emphasise critical thinking and following orders rather than creative thinking and learning new stuff. The result is that children rank the appeal of going to school just slightly above going to the dentist. In the modern world, I believe we have finally arrived at an era in which more creative thinking, less rote following of orders-and-yes even more enjoyment- will succeed better.
Well being should be taught in school because it would be antidote to the runaway incidence of depression, a way to increase life satisfaction and an aid to better learning and more creative thinking.