World Mental Health Day Featuring Jerry Pinto At American Centre

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The theme of 2017 Mental Health Day is MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE.

It featured a prolific line of speakers like Tara Bedi (Public Policy & Community Outreach, Instagram) Jerry Pinto (Author, Em and the big Hoom), Shelja Sen (Psychologist, Children First).

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The theme of this talk event was Workplace Stress.It was organized by American Centre, New Delhi in association with ‘It’s OK to talk’.

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Jerry Pinto said that art provides a better way to handle mental health issues and can help cure you.¬†Healing happens only if you supplement it with sleep, medicines and safe living environment.¬†There is no hierarchy in diseases,¬†more than 350 million suffer worldwide and he believes that already more than 20% of India’s population is suffering from mental health issues and these figures are projected for the year 2020 but he fears that it is already happening now.He also emphasized on the fact that NO.BODY is normal in this world and everybody is abnormal and it is okay to be abnormal.For him writing ”Em and the big hoom” which won the Sahitya Akademi Award(2016) was like ‘delicious ache after exercise’.He did not feel cathartic after reading it as reader experiences catharsis and not the author.He ended his talk by saying that we need to recognize the evil within us.

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Tara Bedi said that Instagram helps people create communities of support with the help of #’s which act as a reinforcement.

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People with the help of hashtags can discover people going through similar experiences.Recently it started its campaign of #kindcomments where it encourages people to comment positively on posts.Also, anyone searching for self-harm hashtags will get a push notification asking him/her to dial either parent or talk to helplines like Aasra / ‘I help’.

Shelja Sen emphasized on the fact that we should separate the person from the problem.

If we talk to children,it becomes their inner voice.If we talk about them,it becomes their life story.

Suffering is a universal condition and we should start paying attention to our thoughts.

In the end as a concluding note, the moderator asked all the speakers how they take care of their mental health.Here’s how: through lots of selfies and chocolate, good wine and good company of people, practicing mindfulness, yoga, meditation, doing the talk therapy, working out and feeling good about oneself.

Some applications which may help you:

  • Artidote , popular Instagram, and facebook page -¬†A space where to story-tell,¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†empathize, bond and heal through art.
  • Wysa¬†, mental health chatbot
  • Talk Life,¬†supportive¬†peer-to-peer¬†network
  • It’s OK to talk ,¬†read others mental health stories and share yours.

World mental health day is celebrated each year on 10th October.

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Mridul Jain
I love reading.

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