Pulwama: The Inner Call organises a workshop on Mental Wellness on eve of World Mental Health Day at Central University Kashmir Tulmulla Campus.
On the occasion of World Mental Health Day today Inner Call Forum for Evolution Development and Awareness in collaboration with the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) organized a one-day awareness programme today on ‘Young People and Mental Health In a Changing World’. The awareness program was organized at the Tulmulla campus of Central University.
Students of the Department of Information Technology and the Department of Physical Education participated in the program.
The welcome address was delivered by Dr Zahoor Ahmad Najar, Coordinator of the Department of Information Technology. Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Inner Call Mr Affan Yesvi spoke about the need to focus on mental health problems faced by the youth.
Mr Yesvi said that modern times are increasingly marked by nuclear families, where youth lack the support system provided by the grand-parents and the larger family network. He said that in close-knit traditional societies, children grew up in an environment of sharing and caring. But youth were becoming self-centered now. Hence there was an alarming increase in the cases of anxiety and depression.
Mr Yesvi pointed out that that one can see issues of anxiety and stress related to modern technology like Facebook or social media platforms. He said he had seen youth getting stressed or upset if they were not able to access the social media platforms.
The speakers at the workshop spoke about the Kashmir Mental Health Survey report released in 2016 by Medicine Without Frontiers, an international body of doctors. This was the first of its kind report that detailed the burden of psychiatric illnesses in Kashmir, where conflict and trauma have been witnessed for decades.
It was discussed that as per the survey, one in every four households in Kashmir had a member who suffered from a mental illness. The survey stated that as many as 1.8 million (45%) adults in the Kashmir were experiencing symptoms of mental distress with 41% exhibiting probable depression.
Mr Yesvi said that as a result of mental health issues, drug abuse and substance abuse had seen a worrying increase. Mr Yesvi said it was a consistent effort on the part of their organization to raise awareness regarding the major issues faced by the youth. He stressed that there should be no stigma attached to anxiety, depression or other mental disorders, and the individuals suffering from it should opt for regular counseling. Inner Call offers counseling on mental health issues and how to deal with personal challenges at its central office located in Jawahar Nagar.
Registrar Central University Dr Fayaz A Nika delivered the presidential address at the workshop. He spoke to students on how to tackle stress through productive means. He urged the students to consciously inculcate a ‘be positive-stay postive’ attitude.
Dr Nika said that good mental health is a key component for living a dynamic and fulfilled life. He said that the Central University has always encouraged its students to freely express themselves, and provided them with diverse platforms to redress their grievances. Dr Nika spoke to students about maintaining the optimum work-life balance. He said that the curriculum of the university was designed in such a way that students do not feel stressed by it. He urged the students to explore the option of counseling if they felt distressed at any time.
Dr Arif Maghribi Khan, Counsellor and Psychiatrist, gave a detailed overview of various mental health issues in Kashmir, especially those related to youth. Dr Khan is a mental health specialist who combines modern psychiatry with spirituality, and has worked in community psychiatry for six years. He spoke to the students about simple and easy steps to understand the classification of psychiatric diseases, and the scenario in Kashmir. He also made them aware of the myths regarding psychiatry.
After the talks focusing on mental health, the students engaged in an interactive question answer session. A counseling session and group exercise was also organized for the students. Ms Vandana Arora, a transformational coach, engaged the participants at the awareness workshop in various exercises on mental health. She also organized a session on meditation.
At the end of the workshop, the vote of thanks was presented by Deputy Dean Students Welfare (DSW) Dr Zahoor Gilani. He urged the students to focus on the spiritual aspect of personality development.