The Mental Health Institute 2018 — Day 4

MUMBAI- On 16th of December, an early Sunday morning, we all geared up, aware and alert at the final day of the Mental Health Institute. Ms. Havovi Hyderabadwala, co-founder of Mind Mandala and a clinical-forensic psychologist, was our first speaker and she shared her views about Mental Health and the Law, importantly focusing on The Mental Health Act. Participants were divided into groups to read the act and debate amongst each other. The seemingly lazy Sunday morning suddenly seemed active and vibrant. Every individual went back with some understanding of the law, the act and its relation to mental health- the prime objective of the program.

The afternoon demanded young researchers to present their topics for the youth innovation design challenge powered by One Future Collective & Desousa Foundation. This was to create involvement in the field of research and encourage young minds to implement small changes in the present system. A clear objective, purpose, rationale and plans to implement the idea were some common guidelines for the challenge.

Another well-known person in the field of mental health is Carl Jung, who was quoted saying, “Every form of addiction is bad, whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.” The next speaker was Dr. Avinash Desousa who discussed new age addictions like being caffeinated. He touched upon the dosages of caffeine in various beverages, the framework, few behavioral mechanisms which should be addressed while dealing with the patient, sleep regulation schedules etc. He even mentioned that humans are the only mammals who willingly delay sleep. A couple of funny facts, sleeping styles and strange findings were also talked about.

Our team of volunteers

 

This was followed by the speed-mentoring session which was limited to a set number of participants per mentor to ensure individual attention. All the four mentors- Dr. Avinash Desousa, a psychiatrist and founder of Desousa Foundation; Ms. Pragya Lodha, a clinical psychologist and professor at Nanavati College, Ms. Prachi Tripathi, a clinical psychologist & Ms. Havovi Hyderabadwala, co-founder of Mind Mandala conducted the speed mentoring where they would go to each group, brief them and answer all their queries related to research, career opportunities, Psychotherapy, Forensic Psychology, Teaching and work place operations.

Distribution of certificates, a group picture and qualitative feedback concluded the event.

Dhanshree Waghmare is a Volunteer at De Sousa Foundation.

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The Mental Health Institute 2018 – Day 3

“I have CDO, it’s just like OCD, but all the letters are in alphabetical order. Just like it should be.”

Continue reading “The Mental Health Institute 2018 – Day 3”

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The Mental Health Institute 2018 – Day 2

MUMBAI — Day two of The Mental Health Institute was full of information and discussions. We started with a lecture by Dr. Kersi Chavda, psychiatrist, who covered multiple dimensions of adolescent mental health, focusing on depression, aggression the increasing rate of suicides in the country. He also discussed the Blue Whale issue which continues to take many lives around the world. Dr. Chavda stressed on the need for mental health professionals to focus on helping the youth build and maintain a healthy personality. As a long-term solution, we discussed how this (a healthy personality), along with adequate information about the dangers of “games” such could prevent the tragedies of the Blue Whale and similar cyber bullying.

Post  the intensive discussion, Mrs. Aditee Guttikar, a career guidance counsellor, shared with us the world of vocational guidance, tests, counselling, how guidance works at different ages. Mrs. Guttikar confirmed that it is not advisable for one to do testing during the course of treatment.  This wasn’t the end. In the second half of the day, another set of speakers were lined up.

Thelma Schoonmaker said,“With digital editing, I now can make many, many versions of a scene.” Looking at our increased reliance on the internet for information, news, and communication, it is necessary to be aware about the way the digital world functions and our relationship with the web. Ms. Janki Mehta, a psychotherapist and co-founder of Mind Mandala discussed about how an individual should maintain their mental health in the virtual world. She shared her thoughts on how the ease of using the internet is reducing the efficiency of human beings. We talked about loneliness perpetuated by the virtual world. The internet does give one a voice; staying behind the screen is often easier and much safer than going out into the real world, for some. However, as much as it is a comfort zone for a set of people, we tend to forget that the virtual world is twice as dangerous. Despite the cons, though, Ms. Mehta agreed that technological advancement is a necessity and it will not stop growing, but it is us as individuals who are supposed to set boundaries.

On these similar views, the next speaker, Dr. Avinash Desousa, founder trustee of Desousa Foundation also focused on Digital Psychology, and how social media has created a global world that is just a click away but at the same time created distance between people. He explored the subject, giving numerous examples of families, adolescents, teenagers and even kids who simply can’t live, offline. This dependence perpetuates a vulnerability to various mental and physical illness like self-esteem issues, low attention spans, and sleep disturbances. He reiterated that the world will evolve with each passing day, but as individuals, we can prioritise, set boundaries, be alert and more engaged with the world around us. When asked about eBooks, he jokingly said, “There is nothing that can replace the smell of a fresh book.”

Discussions in full swing.

Participants seemed to enjoy the different ideas and new information brought forward to them; addressing questions and clarifying concepts related to mental health in the best possible manner is one of the objectives of the program.

The day concluded by introducing the Innovation Challenge to participants, where they were given an opportunity to create a plan to make the educational sector more inclusive of mental health services available to them. The organisers will mentor and micro-fund the winning idea.

Dhanshree Waghmare is a volunteer at the De Sousa Foundation.

Queer Infocus | July 2020

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