To commemorate “World Mental Health Awareness Week”, a Mental Health Campaign Slogan "Swastha Mann Swastha Bharat"(Healthy Mind, Healthy Nation) was jointly launched by Amity Institute of Psychology and Allied Sciences (AIPS) and District Administration, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
While unveiling the slogan, Shri B.N. Singh(IAS), District Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar emphasized upon the importance of mental health. He said that mental health is more important than physical health because a healthy mind is a key towards healthy body and soul. He stressed that there has been growing uncertainties in the current societal structure which is causing rise in mental health issues. Speaking in context of Noida, he mentioned that the district is an amalgamation of both urban and rural areas which encompasses habitants of diverse views and opinions. Also, the maximum population consists of people from eastern Uttar Pradesh who have migrated in the hope for better jobs and education. He pointed out that the diversity of people, views, unequal distribution of resources etc have also been causing uncertainty which further impacts the mental health. He appreciated the initiative of Amity University in promoting the prevention and creating an awareness regarding mental health issues amongst rural areas of Noida and offered full support to the University.
Sharing her views, Dr. Roma Kumar, Clinical Psychologist, Sr. Consultant –Sir Gangaram Hospital, Delhi talked about Parenting Challenges for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She raised her concern over people still not being comfortable to discuss about mental health issues and stated that such restrictions are causing escalation in cases of mental health issues, especially in children. She highlighted that the mental illness like stress and depression amongst children is not taken seriously even by parents and cited an example of a 5 year old child who was suffering from anxiety issues and came to discuss his condition with her. Many people still follow the superstitious belief system of ‘kala dhaga’ and self-assures that nothing negative will ever happen to them whereas there is a need to consult a mental health practitioner same as when one seeks a doctor in case of physical illness.
Dr. Kumar pointed out that one should overcome the stigma of being judged with a mental illness and seek help. She encouraged the parents to communicate and discuss with their children about their issues. Verbal communication is evaporating in present age. “Every sadness and disappointment is not depression. It is important to sensitize people about the difference.” avers Dr. Roma.
Prof. (Dr.) Abha Singh, Director Research, AIPS called upon the educational institutions of Gautam Buddha Nagar to be part of the campaign and join hands to spread Mental Health Awareness to the masses at the grass root level. She further briefed about the initiative by students of Amity Institute of Psychology and Allied Sciences who are visiting the villages of Noida (Jaganpur, Dadha, Acheja, Bhanota, Salarpur, Bishanpura) and conducting a study on the Mental health status in these villages which will be submitted to WHO and Ministry of Health as well. Citing her research on the Youth, Dr. Singh apprised that 80% of the youth population are affected by mental illness in the form of stress, anxiety, depression and mental disorder which is very alarming for the country. The need of the hour is to prevent and control this menace.
Dr. Sunil Awana, Neuro Psychiatrist, Narendra Mohan Hospital, Director of Krush Divine Hospital, Gautam Budh Nagar, Secretary, Indian Medical Association, Noida Branch called upon the society and family members to be awakened about the causes of mental health and contribute towards the mental well-being of the individual to be a better person.
As part of the week long awareness programme from October 3rd- October 10th 2018, a Mental Health Awareness Camp “SALAH” (which means Counselling) is being organized in the nearby villages to provide counselling service and awareness is also being spread through Street Play performances by student of AIPS. Various other activities include Creative poem writing on the theme “Swasth Maan Swasth Bharat”; Elocution Competition on “Mental Health Mandatory for Physical Health” among students of Amity University; Photography Competition at Inter University Level, “Happiness is the Highest Form of Well-being”.
A Mental Health Awareness Program on “CALL FOR CARE TO ENHANCE SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH” will be conducted for the Government School, Principals, Counsellors, Teachers for School Mental Health Workshop on 09th October 2018.
On 10th October, Round Table Panel Discussion in line to WHO Theme of the year 2018 on the title ‘Promoting Positive Mental Health among Youth’ by Invited Speakers/Experts from WHO, Government of India officials, Corporates, Academics, Hospitals, NGOs will be organized.