The Mental Health Institute 2018 – Day 3

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

MUMBAI- The Mental Health Institute resumed on the afternoon of 15th December with 25+ participants. The program began by Dr. Nilesh Shah, Psychiatrist and Dean of the Department of Psychiatry at LTMG hospital who shared his views on humour as an antidote to stress. “Mental Illness is a serious issue, and unlike clothes, it can’t be changed easily. It needs time, medication, therapy, social support and self-belief. Adding humour to this equation has only benefits, it is a “self-care tool”. ‘Accepting and Adapting, ‘Letting go frequently’ can often help”, he said. After this relieving session, the event moved into a much serious atmosphere with a session by Dr. Sagar Karia who introduced us to the use of Law in Psychiatry. Dr. Sagar is a well-established Psychiatrist, with a decade of experience, and is also an assistant professor at LTMG hospital, Sion. He talked about the kind of cases that were commonly observed, how the law worked in these cases, what the job of a psychiatrist is in the eyes of court, what the four C’s of report formation were and so on.

Learning begins at home, just like education begins in school. One cannot disregard the significance of mental health in the system of education. Ms. Alisha Lalljee, an experienced clinical psychologist and special educator spoke about how schools can be made more inclusive towards the needs of specially challenged children. She explained how learning works for them, what controls need to be learnt and how, the pros of the advancing technology etc. Along with her kit of crayons, she made the audience understand how accommodation works. To make her point, she said that even if a child could not tie their shoe laces, it was okay. It is not a life and death skill. One can teach math, or help the child understand tables. It is not a difficult situation if a child wears Velcro boots for the rest of his life, the pain of the child and therapist isn’t worth the fight. She concluded saying, “Diversity is when individuals with disabilities are called to a party, and inclusion is asking them to dance.”

Discussion on in full swing

The next speaker was Ms. Neha Pandey, a psychotherapist by profession dealing with clients suffering from a varied spectrum of problems. She shared views about what one should look for in a therapist. She focused on how unconditional positive regard is something that a therapist needs to learn. How it is important for the client to feel that he is understood, and that unless and until a client states a problem as a problem, one should not assume that it needs to be addressed. She also explained that therapy takes time. One doesn’t sow a seed today and get a tree tomorrow.

Day 3 ended with laughter and excitement for the final session set.

Dhanshree Waghmare is a Volunteer at the De Sousa Foundation.