Published: 30th August 2019
Why every child dealing with exam stress should read this comic book by Fortis Healthcare's Dr Samir Parikh
Dr Samir Parikh tells us about his book Laugh and Learn, written to help children deal with exam stress
No matter how well-prepared students are during the exams, they tend to get hit by exam stress due to pressure from parents. With a view to help children deal with exam stress, a group of psychologists from Bengaluru have come up with a series of comic books titled Laugh and Learn with Dr Parikh. But who's Dr Parikh? Dr Samir Parikh who works with Fortis Healthcare, is a psychiatrist and has solved many mental health issues in his 20 years of service. He says, "We run an initiative called Fortis School Mental Health Programme to ensure the psychological well being of children across India. Every year, as a part of this initiative, we conduct several workshops and train teachers and parents on ways to help children deal with their mental health issues. Last year, we organised 700 workshops to create awareness about mental health and why it is important. Similarly, we organised a quiz contest called Psych-Ed across 200 schools in India. The quiz was based on mental health issues, clinical psychology and much more. Recently, we created two short animated movies and screened them in schools and programmes for children. While one movie covers tips and techniques to release exam stress, the other is a toolkit for parents to help their child cope with exam stress. This time, we decided to present the same topic as a series of comic books as that will interest children. The first book in the Laugh and Learn series is out on the stands."
This book is conceptualised by Dr Parikh and three other doctors — Dr Kamna Chhibber, Dr Divya Jain and Dr Mimansa Singh. "Anxiety and learning disabilities are common issues that we find in children. Aside from this, there are behavioural issues that crop up due to parental or peer pressure. But I believe that dealing with exam stress is the most important factor. The book includes chapters on studying method, management of time, improving memory and concentration power, and dealing with exam stress with plain-spun humour. There are two characters in this book, Addy and Anayka, who address the concerns of students in a fun way. Through these two characters, we also teach children life skills. Building resilience, upgrading themselves with skills and reading more positive stories are the other skills that are also told through this book."
Dr Parikh feels that there's nothing worse than losing a young life for something like failed exams or low marks. "How can society not be responsible for such sensitive issues? Because prevention of suicide has to be a collective goal rather than an individual one. Students can face a re-exam in a period of a few months, instead they choose to end their life. World Suicide Prevention Day is coming up and we need to create a lot of sensitisation among people," explains Dr Parikh who advises students that if they don't do well in exams, they must find their weakness and do better the next time.
For kids: Dr Samir has received good response from the people for his comic book
Next up, Dr Parikh and his team are working on the next book in the series on Media Literacy and they hope to bring it out soon.