Well-Being of the Students – What Matters?


According to the WHO (2022), anxiety disorders are highly prevalent globally. It is much more prevalent among adolescents because of their exposure to a variety of stressors. Research shows that emotional well-being changes over the course of their schooling, with a general increase in anxiety, highlighting the need to further investigate the risk factors that contribute to worry and anxiety symptoms among college student populations. In Mauritius as well there has been a rise in the number of adolescents who are recipients of psychiatric treatments at the local government hospitals as well as an increase in the number of cases reported to the school authorities. The aim of this study is to identify the main causes of anxiety among adolescents and how these are reflected at school. It also seeks to explore how their anxiety affects life at school and the role that educational social workers have in helping such students overcome anxiety. As this study aims to collect in-depth data, the exploratory approach is employed. A focus group discussion using semi-structured questionnaire was conducted with ten (10) educational social workers recruited through convenience sampling. A thematic analysis of the data shows academic anxiety as emerging factor, followed by bullying and lastly, family issues. The findings also reveal impacts at school level such as students not concentrating in class, not participating and also showing emotional distress. While educational social workers provide counselling to students and parents, a need for teacher empowerment and peer counselling are proposed as future avenues.

Author Information
Meera Gungea, Open University of Mauritius, Mauritius

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2024
Stream: Counselling

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon