Bridging Gaps in Mental Health Care for Underprivileged Children
11 August 2023

At Dignity for Children Foundation, we vision a world where every child, regardless of their background, has the chance to flourish, to dream, and to be a child. 

Many underprivileged children who walk through our doors come with traumatic pasts and overwhelming responsibilities, find solace within the walls of Dignity, where their well-being is supported with a range of mental health services.

Melissa's story 

The other children laughed when one of Melissa’s slippers fell into the drain. Angry, Melissa stormed off and refused to speak for hours. She cried as if her heart would break. Comfort could not be found! Accepting herself was hard. Her parents had abandoned her. Her mother was a prostitute. Her father was a drug addict, in and out of jail. In fact, she would ask, “why won’t my father call me? He never calls.”

The children’s simple laughter humiliated her and reminded her once again: you are unwanted, you are rejected!

Uncontrollable behavior, outbursts of anger and corresponding depression - these are the lot of children who lack of sense of belonging.

The path to healing

However, within the nurturing embrace of Dignity for Children, Melissa's narrative took a hopeful turn. The first step towards healing was understanding that her emotions were valid, and her experiences were acknowledged.

One of the cornerstones of Dignity's approach is the integration of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) into the learning environment. Recognizing that academic achievement cannot flourish without emotional well-being, Our Wellness and Mental Health unit has woven SEL into the fabric of their classrooms. This initiative fosters emotional intelligence, resilience, and a sense of belonging among the students.

Today, Melissa is a happy child, unafraid to communicate her feelings, dreams, and aspirations.

Children engaging in Stay Safe Body workshop as part of their Social-Emotional Learning class

Children participate in a workshop focused on nurturing self-compassion

Self-expression workshop through painting 

Mental wellbeing workshop on developing confidence

Partnerships for transformation

Collaborating with local universities, we offer comprehensive conseling services, including play therapy and group therapy sessions to provide a safe space for children like Melissa to express themselves, process their emotions, and develop coping mechanisms.

Critical issues such as mental health, bullying, anxiety, and suicide are addressed head-on through workshops and interactive sessions. By engaging with these challenges openly, Dignity equips its children with the tools needed to navigate life's complexities, ensuring that they emerge not just as survivors, but as resilient individuals ready to thrive.
Dignity provides a range of services and programs that support children's overall well-being. This includes access to healthcare and mental health services, which are essential for helping children cope with the stress and trauma of living in poverty.
Join us in sowing the seeds of resilience, hope, and transformation. Be a catalyst for change - sponsor a child today!
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About Dignity for Children 

Dignity for Children provides quality education and vocational training to underprivileged children, transforming their lives and giving them a better future. 

Find out more about our support programs here.

About Dignity

Our work began in 1998 in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur with only 20 students then. Dignity is now a learning centre with more than 2,300 children ranging from 2-19 years old.
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© 2023 Dignity for Children Foundation (200001003583 [506188-W])
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