Children's wellness focus in schools could cut depression, obesity and crimes rates

Global Wellness Day founder Belgin Aksoy Berkin says schools should be teaching children self-love, breathing and mindfulness to create a happier world.

“We go to school from the age of two, hoping that the education system is going to help prepare us for our future,” said Aksoy Berkin.

“But nobody is teaching us how to live, how to breathe, how to be mindful and how to love ourselves, as these are things that are essential to be a happy adult in the future."

This year’s annual Global Wellness Day, in June, will focus on children’s wellness. Aksoy Berkin explained why: “Kids never learn in schools the fact that people can’t love others without loving themselves first. Focusing on physical and mental wellness at such an early age is so important that it can even help decrease the worldwide depression and obesity rates, even future crime rates.

“In an era where global consumer culture is mostly damaging the concept of childhood and kids are ending up unhappy and unsatisfied,” Aksoy Berkin continued, “we want to teach children how to integrate wellness practices into their lives on a daily basis and to carry on those practices throughout their lives."

Working with universities, clinics and international wellness leaders, Aksoy Berkin has now developed a curriculum that can be implemented in schools.

For preschools, the curriculum is a simple five-minute wellness circle time each morning, and at primary/elementary schools, it is a one-hour wellness class per week. 

The project will focus on three key areas. The first is self-love to help kids let go of shame, anger, blame and to learn to accept themselves and others.

Secondly, there is a focus on breathing to help kids improve their health, manage stress and learn self-control.

Finally mindfulness is recommended to improve emotional and physical wellbeing.

The seventh Global Wellness Day – an international celebration offering a range of free health and wellness activities to the public – will be celebrated this year in more than 4,000 locations in 100 countries on June 9.