The Department of Psychology and the Green Ribbon Club, Pachhunga University College organised a national webinar on the 10th October 2020, 2:00 p.m. to commemorate the World Mental Health Day with the theme Mental Health For All: Greater Investment – Greater Access. This program was hosted by Ms. Lalhmingmawii, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Pachhunga University College and the Organising Secretary of this event, and the speakers of this event were Professor S. Kadhiravan, the Dean of the School of Social Science and the Head of the Department of Psychology, Periyar University and Dr. Zoengpari, Professor, Department of Psychology, Mizoram University. 384 people registered for this event.
The program was first started with a welcome address from Dr. Saichampuii Sailo, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and the Convener of the program. This was followed by a special address from the Advisor of the program, Dr. Rinpari Ralte, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology. There were two technical sessions for the event and each speaker was allotted a session with different personnel facilitating each session.
The first session was facilitated by the Organising Secretary, Dr. Lalropuii, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and the speaker of the session was Professor S. Kadhiravan who gave a presentation on the topic of the Integration of Mental Health Into Well-Being For All. According to the speaker, although the definition of ‘mental health’ can encompass so many things, basically, it is the creation of a healthy mindset which itself is an investment in our overall well-being. From his presentation, one can observe the prevalence and increase of hidden mental-health problems within India. Mental-health issues - such as substance use disorder, Self-harm, suicide etc - are also prevalent among the youths of India with the causes ranging from biological factors to social factors. Despite all of these, in India, the Mental Health Budget against the Total Health Budget is only 0.06%. Therefore, focusing on these problems become a key factor for integrating mental health into well-being for all. Although well-being is dimensionally multifaceted, the happiness of any society begins with the well being of the individuals and families that live in it. Each of these dimensions are made up of several well-being traits. To quote an ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, “if you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall in place” which shows the importance of self-management in maintaining one’s mental health. Integrating mental health into well-being for all is not only a task concerned with the self, but a responsibility upon others as well. The speaker ended his presentation by providing a quote from the singer, Lady Gaga to enunciate the importance of such a responsibility: “Individual acts of bravery and compassion can change the world. It is time to do the same for mental health.”
Following the first session, the second technical session was immediately proceeded with. This time, the facilitator was Dr. Vanlalveni Pachuau, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Organising Committee member and the speaker was Professor Zoengpari. The topic of this session was Strategies For Mental Health During and Post Covid-19. The speaker started her session by assuring the participants that, whatever fear they may experience during the current pandemic, it is merely a normal response and a part of human experience. She also reiterated on the ways to stop Covid-19 transmission such as being mindful of personal hygiene and minimising direct interaction with others. In her slides, she also provided advices for parents and caretakers, older adults and people with mental conditions etc. for keeping a healthy mentality and physique during and post the pandemic. For such, she re-emphasised on the importance of keeping oneself informed, having a proper routine, being active, minimising newsfeeds with negative contents, maintaining social contact in these times of crisis and limiting personal habits which may prove detrimental if overdone etc. Strategies for maintaining mental health during and post covid-19 include recognising anxiety as a normal emotion, creating distractions, finding new ways to connect with friends, focusing on the self, feeling feelings and being kind to oneself and others. The speaker, then, concluded her session by presenting picture slides on strategic ways Mizo youths are maintaining their physical and mental health during the pandemic.
The program was ended by a concluding remark from the host and a vote-of-thanks was given by Dr. Liansangmawii Chhakchhuak, Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Biotechnology, and Organising Committee member. The participants were requested to fill out feedback forms and then, E-certificates were handed out.Attachment: