The “Mental School Health Programme” which the Gujarat Government is going to launch soon as part of its School Health Programme for children aged between 6 and 14 years, has questions on the gender identity as well, which the parents are supposed to answer, reports Indian Express.
The questions that the parents and teachers need to answer include “whether a boy behaves like a girl” and “a girl like a boy”, “whether a girl expresses her wish to be a boy and a boy expresses his wish to be a girl”, and “whether a child gets consumed in thoughts of his/her gender most of the times”.
“Many a time a person feels he or she is trapped in the wrong body, and often goes in for sex change at a later stage in life. Thus, it is better if we identify such cases at an early age and offer them medical and psychiatric support. Other mental traits like depression and anxiety can also be related to such a gender identity disorder.” Dr Hemang Shah, associate professor at department of psychiatry, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad, told Indian Express.
The state Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama defended the decision to include mental health in the programme for social health for children. He said: “Adding mental health adds another dimension to the programme, making it a comprehensive health project. Through this, early detection and cure of mental illnesses that usually either go undetected or uncured will be possible. If detection happens at an early stage, not only will he be able to concentrate on studies, but society will also get a good citizen.”