Secretary of Society of Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL), Dr. Bornali Das was invited to speak on a Facebook Live session for the World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September organised by Manauta.
Project MANAUTA is a humble initiation by a group of young enthusiasts from Darjeeling hills. This project was conceived to cater to mental health issues, provide support and encourage wellbeing amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. While the physical health is vulnerable, the fear of getting infected coupled with restricted social movement has taken a toll on mental health as well. Darjeeling hills, synonimical for its tea and tourism is highly depends on revenue generated by tourists and tea export, however with the lockdown brought in by the pandemic both the industries are facing a stalemate, severely effecting the livelihood of it residents.
With no general health care support let alone any mental health care facility in Darjeeling, the need for mental health care support rose exponentially during such times and had to be addressed during such times. Thus, keeping in mind the need of hour, this project was formulated with help of professional social workers, mental health counsellors and medical professionals. Finally the fuel to run this project was provided by Edwards Foundation who generously funded the project.
Project MANAUTA is dedicates itself to provide free Tele-counselling and Tele-medicine services across Darjeeling hills. But it does not limit to just these two services, various workshops and tailored IEC materials has been a crucial in addressing mental health stigmas and distress among the public and frontline workers. With rising cases of COVID 19 and the uncertainty laced with it, the need for such initiation is more than ever. As addressing the wellbeing and cater positive mental health can be a catalyst in recovery of the patients and the wellbeing of the community.
The Department of Education, Government of Assam, India is supporting the initiative of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) in collaboration with ECHO India in hosting an event on Thursday, 10 September 2020 which is the World Suicide Prevention Day. Managing Editor of the Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (OJPAS®), Utpal Bora, MD will be one of the speakers in this event, “Is life a race?” that will be moderated by Mythili Hazarika, PhD, the President of SoMHiL. A recitation competition was also arranged with the theme of ‘Life’, facilitated by Nilofar Rahman and Papori Goswami, and judge, Srutimala Duara will be declaring the results on this day. The link to the session is https://spark.echoindia.in/jr/sess_x-MZr9StDw/
The series of webinars, titled “Global Psychiatry: A LAMIC Perspective” has begun successfully last Friday, 4 September 2020 (6-7 pm IST) with the speech of Linda B. Cottler from the United States. This Friday, 11 September 2020 (6-7:30 pm IST), Ivana Stasevic Karlicic from Serbia will be speaking on “Perspectives of Mental Health Services During COVID-19 Epidemic in the Republic of Serbia”. It is an initiative of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL), as part of Monon: Assam Cares (https://www.ojpas.com/ojpas-2020-07-27-fulltext.html), in collaboration with ECHO India. The link is: https://spark.echoindia.in/jr/sess_H4HVWv-SIg/
Linda B Cottler from the United States spoke on “Re-imaging community engagement for success during a pandemic” and set the ball rolling for the event, ‘Global Psychiatry: A LAMIC Perspective’, consisting of a series of webinars. The event is a part of MONON: Assam Cares, initiated by the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL), in collaboration with ECHO India. Samir Kumar Sinha, Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam, Health & Family Welfare Department, delivered the opening remarks in the event that is facilitated by Mythili Hazarika, the President of SoMHiL.
A two-day national e-symposium was organized by the Department of Commerce of Rajiv Gandhi University (A Central University), Arunachal Pradesh on ‘Crafting Career Choices Amid COVID Crisis: Approaches and Strategies’. Dr. Bornali Das, Secretary of Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) was invited as a resource person.
Bornali Das, the Secretary of Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) paticipated as a resource person in the National Webinar on ‘Towards better and balanced life: Positive mental health and well-being’ organised by ADP college, Nagaon and Council of Teachers Association Foundation, Assam. Dr. Bornali Das spoke on the topic of ‘Preserving good Mental health for total well being and discipline life’.
To enrich the endeavour of Monon, the mental health initiative of the Government of Assam, new recruits were oriented to the operating procedure through a webinar hosted by Papori Goswami of ECHO India Trust and supervised by Shyamanta Das, the Editor-in-Chief of the Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (OJPAS®), Mythili Hazarika, the President of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL), and Bornali Das, the Secretary of SoMHiL, where the resource persons were Chandamita Barua, Rijusmita Sarma, and Nivedita Sharma.
In order to strengthen the mental health initiative of the Government of Assam, namely Monon, new recruits were trained through a webinar, hosted by Papori Goswami from ECHO India Trust, where the resource persons were Lunhaolal Kuki, Chandamita Barua, Rijusmita Sarma, the Editorial Assistant of the Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (OJPAS®), Bornali Das, the Secretary of the Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL), and Shyamanta Das, the Editor-in-Chief of OJPAS®.
Bornali Das, the Secretary of Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) acted as a resource person in the National Webinar organised by Indian Society of Professional Social Work in collaboration with Department of Psychiatry, KCGMCH, Karnal.