The session one of the second eight-week LGBTQI support group, held in The Space as a combined effort of XUKIA and SoMHiL, is attended by seven members. Dr. Bornali Das, Senior Lecturer of Psychiatric Social Work in the Department of Psychiatry of Gauhati Medical College Hospital, Guwahati represented SoMHiL and started the session. Everyone shared their name, preferred pronoun, and affirmation. Then, the agenda of the session was put forward which was basically to understand the meaning of LBGTIQA and discuss it. The issue and constraints regarding changing gender for transgender people were also put into focus and to find a way to make them assessable to the process. In the end, Mr. Shankar, one of the members, shared his story in a nutshell in quite a poetic way.
“To have eyesight but no vision is worse than being blind”, said Helen Keller. On the occasion of the celebration of World Health Day, Mythili Hazarika, the President of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) delivered a motivational speech to the students of Guwahati Blind High School.
The Editor-in-Chief of the Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (OJPAS®), Shyamanta Das spoke on the myths, facts, and evidence-base of long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics to the doctors of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), and National Health Mission (NHM) officials at Hotel Imphal in Manipur.
Mythili Hazarika, the President of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) had a session on “Stress management” with the Mizoram civil service officers at Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati. There were nine officers who were trained in how to manage stress cognitively and with various strategies. They interacted on various mental health issues too and highly appreciated the demonstration of relaxation exercise.
More than 80% of the world population live in Low And Middle Income Countries (LAMIC). The greatest burden of mental disorders is borne by them. Yet, the representation of scientific literature depicting the plight of this population is conspicuous by its scarcity.
The Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) aims to promote behavioural science in LAMIC. The objective is to form a global consortium for research and exchange of clinical dialogues on psychiatry and allied health sciences with an attempt to bridge the LAMIC-non LAMIC gap.
SoMHiL strives to tap new ideas coming from young minds before being bogged down by conventional thinking and to understand mental illness from the cultural viewpoint to formulate preventive and therapeutic approaches. The Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (OJPAS®), edited by Shyamanta Das and published by Academy Publisher in collaboration with SoMHiL on behalf of Academia Dysphrenia is such an endeavour.
To enrich that endeavour, in association with Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH), Guwahati, SoMHiL hosted a guest lecture by Professor Chittaranjan Yajnik, the Director, Diabetes Unit, KEM Hospital, Pune, India to illuminate on the DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) model of early life insults leading to later diabetes at Academic Hall, GMCH.
It was attended by the outgoing Principal-cum-Chief Superintendent of GMCH, Registrar of Srimanta Sankaradeva University of Health Sciences (SSUHS), faculties and postgraduate trainees of various departments, and undergraduate students of GMCH along with nursing students. Also, the event was broadcast live through National Medical College Network (NMCN) across 50 medical colleges of India simultaneously.
Professor Yajnik is an eminent researcher in the medical field, best known for his path-breaking study to ‘characterise Indian diabetic patients’, leading to the concept of the ‘thin-fat insulin resistant Indian’. He is a stalwart in the field of epigenetics of diabetes unique to India.
The deed of trust, namely SoMHiL was declared on the 20th Day of September 2017 at Guwahati and registered in the Kamrup Metropolitan Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Assam, India with Mythili Hazarika as President, Bornali Das as Secretary, and Atanu Baruah as Convenor. Bornali Das delivered the introductory note and Mythili Hazarika offered the vote of thanks.
The guest lecture was followed by a Focused Group Discussion in the seminar room of the Principal-cum-Chief Superintendent, GMCH among endocrinologists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals including psychologists and psychiatric social workers as well as community medicine specialist.
Bornali Das, the Secretary of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) facilitated the interactive session with the parents/teachers on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day at Udayachal Rehabilitation & Training Centre for Multiple Disability, Guwahati.
The first LGBT support group consisting of eight weekly sessions starting from 2 February 2019 at The Space came to a successful conclusion. This event is the joint effort of Milin Dutta (Ex Director & Founder, Out in the Backyard, 3844 21st Ave S, Minneapolis MN 55407), in collaboration with Xukia and the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL).
Bornali Das, the Secretary of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) delivered a lecture on “Victim Counseling, Recording statement of victim, Issue related to medical examination of victim” with special focus on latest trend of cases which were beneficial for investigating officers of Assam Police. This training programme was organised by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Guwahati, Assam on “Women safety” at CID Hqr., Ulubari for the investigating officers in the rank of S.I. (UB) & Inspector (UB) of Various DEFs, Units, and Organisations of Assam Police.
The Secretary of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL), Bornali Das gave her inputs to develop the frame work to address the issue of mental health in the context of violence and conflict in a consultation to discuss the findings of a study “Brutal Past Shattered Present”, Psycho-social impact of protracted conflict and prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among individuals and communities in Assam at IIBM, Jawahar Nagar, Guwahati. FST and WinG-Assam documented 200 cases from 9 districts across Assam to understand the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders of individuals and communities impacted by conflicts. The participants in the study were all people affected by one or more conflicts in Assam in the last 40 years.
The Editor-in-Chief of the Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (OJPAS®), Shyamanta Das co-chaired with Dr. Chiranjeeb Kakoty, Director, NE SPYM the session, “Substance use in children and response of NGOs” sharing of good practices of NE State in One Day Reginal Level Consultation on Drugs & Substance Use among Children in NE States organised by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Collaboration with Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Foundation for Integrated Support and Solution at Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara, Guwahati.