As professionals in the world of social science, We not only practice to make human life better but it also becomes our responsibility to propagate awareness about mental health in a country like ours where mental disorders are stigmatized. Hence, we, at The Healers Psychiatry Clinic, ventured out to celebrate The World Mental Health day this October by trying to create awareness among the masses.
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
The theme for World Mental Health day for the year 2014, was –Schizophrenia, a disorder very well prevalent, but still unknown to many.
As we decided to hold a mental health awareness camp, ideas from the members of the clinic started flowing in and it was decided that we shall be putting up the camp in a shopping mall on a Sunday since there would be a good footfall there which would enable us to reach out to a larger population.
The preparations started and everyone at the clinic participated with great enthusiasm. Beautiful, informative about Schizophrenia and other mental disorders were made, different malls were approached seeking permission to hold the camp, a street play was prepared and all this was executed under the guidance of the Chairman and the psychiatrist at the clinic, Dr.Pankaj Kumar and the Consultant Psychologist Mrs. Esha Puneyani.
On The 12th October we set up a camp at the Pacific Mall, Ghaziabad and invited people to join us. The program started with introducing the concept of world mental health day at the shopping mall. Then an enthralling and energy filled street play was performed for the audience that was themed around people living with Schizophrenia. The play managed to attract a lot of attention.
After the play was done, we invited people to get them tested for Depression and anxiety free of cost where we did simple paper pencil tests for them.
Along with that, we also had the parents get their young children tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
People were curious and we had a lot of them turning up to get tested. Their results were discussed with them any further queries and myths were addressed too. If it seemed like it, they were advised to get help.
The testing helped people gain perspective and know themselves just a little better.
The Camp ended with another round of street play performance which was very well received by the audience at the mall and upon taking their feedback it was realized that many of them had no idea about Schizophrenia prior to witnessing the camp and the street play.
All the efforts that went into organizing the camp were greatly rewarded as there were a large number of people who turned up and witnessed the camp and took home with them a lot of awareness about themselves and about the importance of mental health.
We believe that such initiatives are very essential as no information is better spread than the information that is spread by the word of mouth as it is very likely that people who gained awareness that day will share it with others well. Such initiatives are a beginning of an awareness chain and we were very glad to contribute in it and do our bit. Also, we shall continue to put in efforts to come up with more such initiatives to propagate the importance of Mental Health.