CorStone Joins Hands with Bihar Government to Enhance Adolescent Wellbeing in the State Collaboration to Expand Resilience Program to All Government Middle Schools and KGBVs to be Discussed at Conference

Press Release

CorStone Joins Hands with Bihar Government to Enhance Adolescent Wellbeing in the State

Collaboration to Expand Resilience Program to All Government Middle Schools and KGBVs to be Discussed at Conference

Patna | India
December 21, 2022

Adolescents in all Government Middle Schools and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas | KGBVs in Bihar will receive a wellbeing programme through a three-year collaboration between CorStone and the Education Department, Government of Bihar. The partnership will expand CorStone’s Youth First and Girls First resilience programmes across the state in order to enhance the holistic wellbeing and development of adolescents as per the New Education Policy | NEP, 2020. A one-day conference has been organised in Patna on December 21st to highlight achievements from these programmes and lay out a road map for the integration of adolescent wellbeing into the school system.

The conference titled “Promoting Adolescent Wellbeing in Every School: Bihar Leads the Way” will be attended by senior government officials and experts in the field of adolescent health. “The last few years have highlighted the need for promoting mental health of adolescents. Holistic development is a focus of the NEP 2020 and the role of schools in ensuring wellbeing is critical. We are determined that students are learning simple but very important skills like goal setting and emotions management that can help them become resilient and stay mentally healthy in difficult times. The Department is working hard to integrate wellbeing training into the school system and is happy to partner with CorStone to ensure that this becomes a reality.” said Shri. Dipak Kumar Singh, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Education Department, Government. of Bihar.

The conference will also be attended by Smt. Harjot Kaur Bamhrah, IAS, Chairperson cum Managing Director, Women Development Corporation, Bihar; Shri. Sajjan R, Director, State Council for Education, Research and Training | SCERT, Bihar; Shri. Asangba Chuba Ao, IAS, State Project Director, Bihar Education Project Council | BEPC, Bihar and Shri. Ravi Shankar Singh, Additional State Project Director, BEPC, Bihar. Under the partnership, CorStone and the Education Department will work to institutionalise resilience-based wellbeing within the government structure. CorStone will provide curriculum, training, technical advice, and monitoring support to the Education Department through 2025 to help ensure adoption and long-term growth and sustainability of the programmes across the state. At scale, the programmes are expected to reach approximately 35,000 government schools and 534 KGBVs, providing wellbeing skills to over 3.5 million students annually.

The conference will also host a panel of experts, including Prof. Prabhat P Ghosh, Member Secretary, Asian Development Research Institute | ADRI, Smt. Gracy Andrew, Special Advisor, CorStone; Dr. Rajesh Nair, Director, Amity Institute of Behavioural and Allied Sciences, Smt. Kiran Kumari, Retd. Additional State Program Director, BEPC; and Shri. Anand Sinha, India Country Advisor, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation who will discuss the topic of ‘Integrating Mental Health & Wellbeing within Education—The Why and The How’. “With rising occurrences of anxiety and extreme distress among adolescents, especially post-Covid, schools play an important role in preventing mental health problems among students,” Dr. Rajesh Nair said. The conference will also include a brief session whereby students and teachers from the Bihar School System will share their experiences with the CorStone Youth First and Girls First programmes in schools and KGBVs.

The Youth First and Girls First programmes integrate a resilience and adolescent health curriculum delivered through an innovative teacher-facilitated peer group model. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and thrive. The programmes integrate evidence-based practices from the fields of emotional resilience, positive psychology, social-emotional learning, and conflict resolution with adolescent health training to improve mental and physical wellbeing, school engagement, self-advocacy, social skills and relationships among youth. First launched in India in 2009, these have been implemented in select districts in Bihar since 2013.

Since 2013, we’ve reached thousands of students and teachers across Bihar and documented extensive evidence that these programmes transform the emotional resilience, mental and physical wellbeing, and education outcomes of adolescents. We are very grateful to have received support from the Government of Bihar at every step of the way,” said Steve Leventhal, Chief Executive Officer, CorStone. “I am certain that this partnership is the first step to ensuring that every student and teacher in Bihar obtains the skills and knowledge to thrive in and out of the classroom, and change their lives,” adds Nandita Bhatla, Country Director, CorStone India Foundation.

About CorStone
CorStone is a global non-profit organisation that works ‘from the inside out’ to foster inner health and wellbeing in marginalised and vulnerable youth. CorStone’s resilience-based approach teaches the skills that empower youth to thrive—not just survive—when faced with significant adversity. Studies, including large-scale randomised controlled trials, have documented the powerful impact the organisation's programs are having on the mental and physical wellbeing and education of youth. Founded in 1975, CorStone is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Its subsidiary, CorStone India Foundation, has offices in Delhi and Patna, India. To learn more, please visit CorStone online.

About Youth First and Girls First
CorStone’s Youth First programme is implemented in government middle schools while the Girls First programme is implemented in KGBVs. Youth First and Girls First provide a school-based, integrated resilience and adolescent health training, demonstrated to improve mental and physical health, school performance and engagement, self-advocacy, social skills, and gender attitudes among youth. Students attend facilitated peer support groups led by trained teachers in schools and KGBVs for one hour each week over the course of a school year. A typical session combines 20-30 minutes of skill-building followed by 30 minutes of group discussion and problem-solving.

Media Contacts

United States

Steve Leventhal
CorStone, CEO
Tel | +1.415.847.7988
Email |


Ms. Nandita Bhatla
Country Director, CorStone India Foundation
Tel | +91-99104-83548
Email |