The Role of Guidance and Counseling Teachers in Developing Gratitude Character of Students

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Mental health is one of the major issues of concern to the world. This is motivated by the overall awareness that happiness is an important factor that must be sought by every country. Economic growth is not enough to be a determining factor for happiness, because the evidence shows that welfare and happiness indexes in many countries have declined. Efforts to promote and prevent mental health continue to be increased in relation to policies, laws, programs and health services to achieve comprehensive mental health. In Indonesia, the prevalence of severe mental disorders nationally is 0.17% (400 thousand people) and the prevalence of emotional disorders is around 6%. Even though it has decreased, it must still be the concern of all parties. Efforts for treatment and prevention must be carried out by all parties; government, society, family as well as the whole community, education, religion, work. As many as 6% of the prevalence of emotional disorders (symptoms of depression and anxiety) are teenagers aged 15 years and over who spend their time in school. Data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness also explain that 50% of permanent mental health problems start at the age of 14 years. 

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The main problems that make teenagers problematic are, matters relating tosuccess and failure in school, peer and family relationships, and social problems such as the environment, poverty, and unemployment. This shows that adolescents who are at school age are vulnerable to mental disorders, so there must be a massive prevention effort from the environment, especially in educators in schools. Schools become a conducive environment to help youth become healthy and potential personalities. This is in line with the goals of education in Indonesia, that Indonesian education aims to form students who have religious-spiritual characteristics, self-control, personality, intelligence, noble characters, and skills needed by themselves, society, nation, and state. The Ministry of Education and Culture issued a policy called the character strengthening program. This program is expected to be the main foundation for preparing young people who are characterized by 21st century skills. Guidance and counseling as an integral part of the education process has an important role to develop character, especially character gratitude. 

Gratitude characters need to be implemented in the school environment, both by the teachers and also students to create a learning environment that does not only focus on the process of knowledge transfer, but also create learning that emphasizes the values of goodness, character, and emotional well-being. Gratitude characters are predicted to be a factor that can support students in learning, which is manifested by feeling calm, comfortable, not stressed and motivated in achieving goals, especially in learning. Experiments conducted by Froh, Sefick, and Emmons (2008) to students who were randomly assigned to three groups and who were asked to write things they were grateful for are more comfortable at schools compared to groups who were asked to write negative things and groups that were not treated at all. Furthermore, several studies also show that being grateful can prevent depressive and pathological conditions. Someone who is grateful has higher control over his environment and personal development, has a purpose in life and self-acceptance. Grateful people also have positive coping in facing challenges in life, seek social support from others, interpret experiences with different perspectives, and have plans to solve problems. 

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The Role of Guidance and Counseling Teachers in Developing Gratitude Character of Students. (2021, Dec 30). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from
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