Observation of ‘Mental Health Month’ at Antara

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Observation of ‘Mental Health Month’ at Antara

What is Mind??

The central processing unit (CPU) of a computer is the control centre that converts data input to information output. It carries out the instructions of a computer program. So the CPU must be in good condition to run the computer properly.

Similarly ‘Brain’ is our control centre. So we should take care of our mental health.

Do you know Substance Abuse not only affects your physical health but mental health also?

Anxiety, confusion, memory loss, hallucinations, excited and aggressive behaviour etc are the common problems that may occur due to substance abuse.

There are several other reasons that may lead to different mental health issues and thatneed immediate medical interventions. But people hesitate to go to Psychiatrists or other Mental Health Professionals due to lack of awareness, ignorance, stigma and misconceptions.

It is estimated that 15% of the population of India is currently grappling with mental health issues that require treatment and intervention. It is anticipated that by the year 2020, almost 20% of the people may be affected by various forms of mental disorders. Extensive awareness programmes on mental health could help to raise awareness among general population & remove the stigma attached with mental illness.

Since last year Antara has been observing ‘Mental Health Month’ and ‘Mental Health Exhibition’ to raise awareness on mental health issues through different programmes.

Let’s have a look at the different programmes of “Mental Health Month 2017”, starting from the ‘Mental Health Day’ (10th Oct 2017) at Antara.

Day 1 (10th Oct 2017)

  • Observation of ‘Mental Health Day’.
  • Inauguration of ‘Mental Health Month’ & Theme unfolding.

Theme of ‘Mental Health Day 2017’:- ‘Mental Health in the Work Place’

Target Group – Antara Staff.
Resource Person: Ms. Sarala Kapur [Psychoanalyst] and Ms. Sukanya Bhattacharya [Kolkata Gives Foundation].

Day 2 (11th Oct 2017): Talent Display by patients-‘Nijeke Khunji’

According to different studies it has been propagated that singing and dancing and different group activities brings a sense of wellbeing and thus improves mental health. Regular participation in these activities can form an effective part of the recovery plan for those suffering from different mental illness/mental health issues.

At Antara, we organize such cultural events very often for our clients/patients, where they can participate individually or in choir. This “Talent Display” event was another such attempt by Antara.
In this programme we encouraged patients to do whatever they are good at.

Time: 2.00 – 4.30 p.m.
Participants: Patients of indoor and caregivers.
Chief Guest: Mr. Santan Karmakar [Sub Inspector, Baruipur]
Judge: Ms. Raka Gangully [Teacher of Srisikshayatan]

Day 3 (12th Oct 2017): Seminar on ‘Home Care is Best Care.’

In this programme we invited the caregivers of patients with whom they spend most of the time at home. Purpose of this seminar was to educate the caregivers how to take care of the mentally challenged persons at home.

Time: 3.30 – 4.30 p.m.
Target Group: Care givers.
Resource Person: Dr. J. Maity [Psychiatrist, Antara]

Day 4 (13th Oct 2017): Workshop on ‘Relaxation Techniques and its Recent Updates’.

A relaxation technique helps a person to relax; to attain a state of increased calmness; or otherwise reduce levels of pain, anxiety, stress or anger. In today’s busy life, you have to balance your work and personal life which is surely not an easy task. Your mind should be free from tension, anger and anxiety. So to release tension and relax your mind you should spend some time in doing different relaxation techniques.

Time: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Target Group: Psychology students and professionals.
Resource Person: Ms.Subhra Chandra [Psychoanalyst]

Day 5 (14th Oct 2017): Seminar on ‘Challenges in Management of mentally ill persons in rural sectors.’

Time: 12.00-2.00 p.m.
Target Group: Rural Medical Practitioners.
Resource Person: Dr.Bijoy Jacob [Medical Superintendent, Antara], Dr.J. Maity [ Psychiatrist, Antara].

Day 6 and other Sundays (Day 13, Day 20, Day 27): ‘Information dissemination campaign on Mental Health’ using IEC material and Social Media.

Day 7 (16th Oct 2017): Cultural programme for Group Home residents & their family members.

Time: 3.00 – 5.00 p.m.

Day 8 (17th Oct 2017): Panel Discussion on ‘Scope & Challenges in Social Work’.

Time: 2.00-5.00 p.m.
Target Group: Social Workers and students of Social Work.
Resource Persons: Mr. Joydeep Majumder [ Founder, Vidyasagar school of Social Work], Prof. Prasanta Ghosh [Professor in Social Work Dept, Viswabharati University], Mr. Anup Ghati [Lecturer in Social Work Dept, Rabindra Bharati University], Miss Cheryl Francis [Director of Social Work & NSS, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous)], Mr. M. Thomas John [CEO, Antara].

Day 9 (18th Oct 2017): Seminar on ‘Alor Disha’.

Purpose of this seminar was to discuss what kind of challenges they face every day and how to deal with those challenges.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: Transgender Community
Resource Person: Sudeb Sadhu

Day 10 (19th Oct 2017): Dipawali Celebration

Time: 6.00 – 7.00 p.m.
Target Group: Antara Community

Day 11 (20th Oct 2017): Interactive seminar on ‘Psychological Hazards in work place’.

Purpose of this seminar was to discuss what kind of challenges they face every day and how to deal with those challenges.

Time: 3.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: Nursing staff
Resource Person: Ms. Poulami Dutta [Nursing Superintendent, Antara].

Day 12 (21st Oct 2017): Bhai Phonta & Aesthetic Therapy programme.

Sometimes small initiatives can bring a lot of happiness. Antara witnessed the same on the ‘ Bhai Phonta’ ceremony. Our indoor patients were very happy to celebrate this auspicious occasion with their fellow patients & staff of Antara.

Therapy through dance and music is an effective method of promoting mental health. Participants of our Aesthetic Therapy unit presented a beautiful cultural programme under the direction of Dr. Mander Mukherjee on the 12th day of mental health month celebration.

Bhai Phonta : 10.00 – 11.00 a.m.
Aesthetic Therapy programme : 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: Indoor patients & staff.

Day 14 (23rd Oct 2017): Cultural programme by ‘Personal Growth & Development’ unit.

Time: 2 – 4 p.m.
Participants: Patients of ‘Personal Growth & Development Unit’.

Day 15 (24th Oct 2017): Seminar on “Sustha mon Sustha Somaj”.

Main job of ASHA workers is related to women’s health and maternal health. ASHA Workers plays a potential role in providing primary health care at the village level. Their job role includes- Creating awareness and providing information to community, facilitating community access to health care and health facilities.

So, we invited them to participate in this seminar to make them aware about mental health issues, so that they can refer their clients to the nearest health care centre, if they found any such symptoms in their clients.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: ASHA Workers.
Resource Person: Mr. Nitaichand Mukherjee [MSW, M,Phil]

Day 16 (25th Oct 2017): Seminar on “Mile Mishe Kori Kaj”.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: NGO staff and Club members.
Resource Person: Mr. Mrinal Biswss [NGO-Apanjon] and Mr. Nitaichand Mukherjee [CGC Coordinator, Antara]

Day 17 (26th Oct 2017): Seminar on addiction “Abar Nesha!”

Target Group: Clients & their family
Time: 9.30 – 11.30 a.m.
Resource Person: Mr. Biswanathan.
Other Speakers: Dr. Soumya Chatterjee [Psychiatrist,Antara], Dr. Payel Roy [Psychiatrist, Antara]

Day 18 (27th Oct 2017): Awareness programme – “Manosik Rog ki Niramoy Jogyo?”

Time: 9.00 – 10.00 a.m.
Target Group: OPD Patients & staff.
Resource Person: Dr. Bijoy Jacob [Medical superintendent] & Mr. N.C Mukherjee [Coordinaor- Child Guidance Clinic, Antara]

Day 19 (28th Oct 2017): Seminar on Strengthening Coping Mechanisms.

Vision loss should not prevent a person to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Objective of this seminar was to encourage and motivate persons’ with vision loss to live an independent and fulfilling life.

Time: 11.30 a.m – 3.30 p.m.
Target Group: Visually challenged community.
Resource Person: Mr. M. Thomas John [CEO, Antara], Dr. Bijoy Jacob [Medical Superintendent, Antara].

Day 21 (30th Oct 2017): “Mental Health Orientation Programme”

In spite of advancement of science, faith healing is still a common practice in rural areas of India. Our motive behind this ‘Mental Health Orientation Programme’ was to motivate faith healers to send patients for medical assistance if their interventions are not being effective.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Target Group: Faith Healers
Resource Person: Mr. M. Thomas John [CEO,Antara], Mr. Salil Mayra [MSW], Mr. N. C Mukherjee [M.phil in PSW]

Day 22 (31st Oct 2017): Cultural Programme ‘’All is well. Let us celebrate Mental Health’’

In spite of advancement of science, faith healing is still a common practice in rural areas of India. Our motive behind this ‘Mental Health Orientation Programme’ was to motivate faith healers to send patients for medical assistance if their interventions are not being effective.

Time: 3.00 – 5.00 p.m.
Target Group: Staff and patients.
Participants: Staff and patients.

Day 23 (1st November 2017): Interactive session on ‘Manosik Swasthya Rakshay Panchayater Bhumika’.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: Panchayat Members.
Resource Person: Ms. Ankhi Sarkar [M.S.W]

Day 24 (2nd November 2017): Seminar on ‘Sanghat Noy Samadhan Chai’.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: Women Self Help Group.
Resource Person: Ms. Anuradha Majumder [Secretary-, All India Women Conference]

Day 25 (3rd November 2017): Seminar on ‘Challenges & Scope in Psychiatric Nursing’.

The job of Psychiatric Nurses is very sensitive because they have to treat a person’s mind, personality & emotions and for that they need to face many challenges. They need to be more assertive, more empathetic and calm. In this seminar we have discussed about the challenges & Scope of Psychiatric Nursing.

Time: 10.30 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
Resource Person: Prof. Madhusree Manna [Asia Heart Foundation], Ms. Poulami Dutta [Nursing Superintendent, Antara]
Chief Guest: Mr. Mathew P. John [Hon. General Secretary, Antara]
Target Group: Nursing Students

Day 26 (4th November 2017): Seminar on- ‘Positive Mental Health’.

Being mentally or emotionally healthy not just means the absence of mental health problems rather it means the presence of positive characteristics. Student life is the peak period when one can acquire positive characteristics.

Teachers are the Light House for students. A student spends a large amount of time at school/colleges. So we targeted the principals, Head-teachers & Teachers to promote positive mental health.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: Principals, Head Teachers & Teachers.
Resource Person: Dr. Subhangsu Aditya
Chief Guest: Father Bitto

Day 28 (6th November 2017): Seminar on ‘Sustha Mon Sustha Somaj’.

The Anganwadi Workers is the most important functionary of the ICDS Scheme. One of the objectives of ICDS is to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical & social development of the child.

Anganwadi workers play a role of bridge between the community & the ICDS. They play an important role to identify the disability among children & perinatal mental health problems in mother during her home visit and refer the case to the nearest Primary Health Centre [PHC].

Purpose of this seminar was to make the Anganwadi workers aware of the early sign & symptoms of different mental disorder & to motivate them to refer the child or mother to the nearest PHC as soon as they identify/found any such symptoms in their client.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: Anganwadi Workers
Resource Person: Mr. Salil Mayra [MSW]

Day 29 (7th November 2017): ‘Sishu Milan Utsav’

Participants: Child Guidance Clinic Patients & their Caregivers.
Time: 12.00 – 2.00 p.m.
Chief Guest: Ms. Jolly Laha [Play Therapist]

Day 30 (8th November 2017): ‘Manosik Swasthya Maitri’

On day 30th, a team from Antara including CEO-Mr. M. Thomas John, Nursing Superintendent – Ms. Poulami Dutta, PRO- Mr. Subhabrata Chakraborty, CMHU Incharge-Ms. Ankhi Sarkar, visited Mr. Arup Bhowmick [Inspector In-charge, Baruipur police station], Dr.Pallab Das [Chairman, Rajpur-Sonarpur Municipality], Mr. Soumya Ghosh [BDO, Baruipur] & Mr. Goutam Das [Vice Chairman, Baruipur Municipality] to present them an ‘awareness kit on Mental Health’.

Day 31 (9th November 2017): Seminar on ‘Social Media, Mental Health & Adolescence’.

Social networking undoubtedly plays a vital role in broadening social connections & learning different technical skills but we can’t overlook its’ risks. Dependency on online gaming, internet addiction, cyber-harassment etc are the negative effect of social media mostly seen in adolescents.

The ‘Blue Whale Game/ Blue Whale Challenge’ is a recent example of negative use of social media. ‘Blue Whale Game’ is a suicide challenge which provokes vulnerable teens or adolescents to kill themselves. Most of the victims clutched by this game were teenagers or adolescents.

Keeping all things in mind, we organized this seminar where we tried to make the students aware of the evil effects of social media and discussed how it is related to different mental health issues.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: School students.
Resource Person: Ms. Indrani Chakraborty [Chief Psychologist, Antara]

Celebration of ‘Mental Health Exhibition’: Day 1

Time: 10 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Venue: Antara Exhibition Ground

Day 32 (10th November 2017): Seminar on ‘Youth & Addiction: challenges of being a youth in today’s world’.

Time: 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.
Target Group: Students
Resource Person: Dr. Soumya Chatterjee [Psychiatrist, Antara]

Celebration of ‘Mental Health Exhibition’: Day 2

Time: 10 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Venue: Antara Exhibition Ground

Day 33 (11th November 2017): Sit & Draw competition for children.

Time: 2.30 – 4.00 p.m.

Closing Ceremony of ‘Mental Health Month programmes & Mental Health Exhibition’

Time: 10 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Venue: Antara Exhibition Ground

Observation of  ‘Foundation Day of ANTARA’.

Prize Distribution

Highlights of Mental Health Exhibition 2017

1. Model Display on ‘Mental Health’, by nursing students from College of Nursing Medical College & Hospital, Apollo Gleneagles Nursing College, Sister Florence College of Nursing, West Bengal Govt. College of Nursing – S.S.K.M, Govt. College of Nursing N.R.S.M.C&H

2. ‘Pledge Stall’ – Pledge against Drug Addiction.

Total 195 people including school & college students have taken pledge at our stall during the 3 days long ‘Mental Health Exhibition’.

3. Addiction unit stall: Sample of different drugs where displayed and people have been taught the negative consequences of those drugs and how the use of drugs can lead to different mental health issues.

4. Quiz Stall
5. Mental Health Awareness Stall.
6. Mental health Slogan Competition and display of selected slogans in the exhibition ground.
7. Mental Health Awareness Kit.
8. Release of ‘Antara Souvenir 2017’