17 May, 2024

BIS Hanoi continues to lead in education by pioneering mental health awareness in Vietnam

BIS Hanoi Pioneering Mental Health Awareness in Vietnam
In today's educational landscape, student mental health is a cornerstone of academic success and overall wellbeing.

The role of school counsellors has become indispensable, providing essential support and helping students navigate emotional challenges and build resilience. At our school, we are committed to leading this effort, ensuring our counsellors and staff are well-equipped to meet the evolving needs of our student body.

On May 9th, we hosted a dynamic professional development morning, bringing together 25 dedicated individuals at BIS Hanoi. Attendees included school counsellors from the Hanoi Activities Conference (HAC) group, representatives from other international schools, external therapists, lecturers, and students from the Hanoi University of Education's Psychology department.

BIS Hanoi Pioneering Mental Health Awareness in Vietnam

The session addressed pressing issues in school mental health, with a specific focus on supporting student wellbeing. Dr. Nguyen Cao Minh, our keynote speaker, delivered an insightful presentation on "Supporting Suicidal Teenagers through Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)," providing valuable perspectives on this sensitive topic. Another engaging discussion explored the intersection of counselling and artificial intelligence (AI), highlighting AI's potential to revolutionise counselling practices and enhance student mental health and wellbeing.

We were also privileged to have Anh Tien Quang Nguyen from the Viet-France Psychology Institute share his organisation's work, detailing how they can support us in counselling, psychotherapy, mental health assessment, and other areas. This presentation underscored the value of external collaboration in enriching school counselling practices. Additionally, Trang Le, PHD from the Clinical Research Institute for Society, Psychology, and Education (Crisp-E), presented groundbreaking research on the effects of sleep deprivation, emphasising its profound impact on mental health and academic performance. 

BIS Hanoi Pioneering Mental Health Awareness in Vietnam

Reflecting on the event's success, Matt Greenwood, the social-emotional counsellor at BIS Hanoi, said, "I was struck by the response from therapists all over Hanoi who clearly see the need, as I do, to connect with each other and share best practices. Counselling can be a very rewarding but solitary job, and it's important that we are able to lean on each other for support and guidance. Hopefully, this has opened the way for future collaborations across the city."

Building on this momentum, our school took proactive steps by organising Mental Health Awareness Week for secondary school students. Throughout the week, students participated in carefully curated activities aimed at promoting mental health and wellbeing. To engage all community members, we also arranged a mental health workshop for parents on Wednesday, May 15th. This workshop served as a platform for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and fostering a collective understanding of mental health within families.

At BIS Hanoi, we recognise the pivotal role of education in fostering positive mental health and wellbeing among our students. Our commitment is to cultivate a culture characterised by openness, empathy, and unwavering support. By fostering dialogue and challenging stigma, we aim to create a supportive environment where students feel a sense of belonging, empowerment, and security to seek assistance and solidarity as needed.