Mental health drive in schools

mental health awareness poster

More than 140 schools from Delhi NCR were part of a mental health programme conceived by Fortis Hospital to help students deal with pertinent issues of adolescence, exam stress and behavioural issues.

The Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare organised the six-day psychology-based internship programme. ‘Fortis Summer School Internship Program, 2019’ designed for students of Class XI & XII. Schools like Shiv Nadar School, Shri Ram School, Vasant Valley School, Modern School participated.

During the internship programme, a  multidisciplinary team of experts . Addressed topics, including clinical disorders, psychological interviewing and the role of psychology in healthcare. A session on the applied areas of psychology will now encourage students to learn about the scope and various upcoming super specialities in the field. At the same time, students participating in experiential arts-based activities to enhance self-awareness.

A key aspect of this week-long internship was a social-media project on mental health that students were to prepare and showcase at the end of the week, which saw students writing poetry, vlogging, creating innovative posters and works of art. The objective of the internship is to expose students to psychology, to build their curiosity, and give them an opportunity to reshape conversations around mental health.

Mental health has always been stigmatized

Speaking about the programme, Dr Samir Parikh said, “Mental health has always been stigmatized, with those suffering being at the receiving end of ridicule and discrimination. We thought it was time to build an alternative. More positive narrative around mental wellness, and that is how the idea of the summer internship was born. We realized that given the amount of time that children spent on social media. We could channelize it to be meaningful and be positive so that the generations to come do not experience the kind of stigma that we did. And the response we got from students has been truly heartwarming.”

Mental illness

One in four to five people is suffering from mental illness, across the world. Depression is the world’s largest illness which impacts 300 million people across the globe. Yet, conversations around mental health continue to remain taboo in society today. There is an 800% shortage of mental health experts in India. Given the rising prevalence of mental health-related problems. More and more students must take up the field of psychology to cope with the burden of the illness. This internship is a step in that direction . To expose students to psychology, to build their curiosity, and give them an opportunity to reshape conversations around mental conditions.

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