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The Essential Link Between Wellbeing and Academic Success in Schools

There’s no question that a student’s well-being is directly linked to their academic success, mirroring the professional world where happier employees are more productive.

Adding well-being programs to our schools is more than just a new trend; it’s an important step in helping every part of a student’s life. This way, we look after students’ feelings, thoughts, and health, as well as their schoolwork. Engaging with many schools in Asia shows us that some schools have started doing this, while others are thinking about it. From these talks, three big questions come up:

1. How it impact students

Improved Focus and Attendance

Focusing on mental well-being helps students concentrate better and stay motivated, leading to higher academic success and regular attendance. Addressing mental health early on encourages continued learning and reduces dropout rates, setting students up for long-term educational achievement. Through such supportive measures, students are better poised to have educational success compared to parents

Active and Vibrant

When students receive the support they need, they’re not just more inclined to dive into extracurricular activities; they thrive, enriching their overall school experience and fortifying the bonds within the school community. Initiatives that promote well-being create a diverse and inclusive atmosphere, where every student feels important. This reduces behaviour issues and enhances learning and growth, making schools vibrant and united communities.

Resilience and Social Skills

Prioritising well-being in schools does more than just support individual health; it cultivates a community of highly resilient and socially adept students. This focus on emotional and mental health nurtures empathy and enhances communication skills, laying the groundwork for stronger, more positive relationships among students and between students and teachers. Such an environment naturally discourages bullying by fostering understanding and respect. Moreover, as students become more adept in social skills, they are better equipped to navigate and resolve conflicts effectively.

“All learning has an emotional base.” – Plato

2. The positive effect on schools

Improved Job Satisfaction for Staff

A focus on well-being can create a supportive and uplifting work environment for teachers and staff, resulting in increased job satisfaction.

Better Relationships with Students

Teachers in schools that prioritise mental well-being often report stronger, more positive relationships with their students, facilitating better learning outcomes and classroom management.

Enhanced Professional Development

Programs aimed at improving mental well-being can include training for teachers, enhancing their skills in areas such as emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and supportive communication.

Reduced staff burn out

Schools with strong mental well-being programs often experience fewer behavioural problems, as students are more engaged, respected, and understood.

3. How to implement (Where can I start)

Determining where and how to begin can be challenging, but it largely hinges on the desired outcomes of a school, its culture, current status in well-being, and its aspirations. The key is to initiate a simple yet effective framework:


Evaluate your school’s environment over a specific period to identify needs. Start with a straightforward survey to establish a baseline.

Set a Goal

Develop a clear roadmap to communicate the plan to staff, students, and parents. Outline the vision, set quarterly milestones, and define success criteria. Form a well-being team comprising staff, students, and parents.


Choose a few targeted initiatives that align with the roadmap. For example, create safe spaces for conversations, developing positive habits, promoting self-care, utilising digital tools to enhance productivity and scalability (not just surveys), establish a support system (continuity in care), and set expectations for after-school hours.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Principals and Heads of Departments should actively disseminate plans to raise awareness and foster adoption. Essential to this process is embodying the change—staff should lead by example and be open to feedback. If students are encouraged to write journals, teachers participating in the same activity can underscore its value as a well-being practice.


Gather feedback through surveys, data from digital tools, counselling sessions, etc., to evaluate and refine at various levels (school-wide, by grade, class, and individual student). Address any discrepancies and complete the feedback loop with students, parents, and staff.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” 

– Bruce Lee

To learn more about how we support schools and students on their well-being journey, contact us here. Together, we can build mental wellness, first schools.


Rahul Vijayan

Co-Founder & CPO of Zoala