International Conference Held at Gautam Buddha University (GBU) on Post-COVID Mental Health
In 2017, India was given the unpleasant title of the world’s ‘most depressing country’ by WHO, with one out of seven suffering from a mental illness. Indian culture has stigmatized mental illnesses through a tout. Instead of getting support to fight against the mental conditions, people who openly express their psychological struggles, are greeted with shame and are often put a label of being a “lunatic” in society, which can lower their chances of getting treatment under these waves of disgrace and isolation. Especially, in India, avoiding societal disliking at any cost is deeply rooted into the foundation of their culture.
Hence, living forcefully in this “conservative society”, emotions are often bottled up until they explode as bombs of anxiety and depression, spreading fragments of bomb in every direction, thus alleviating psychological disruption. Due to such factors, India was not ready to face the heavy weight of this pandemic, hence, increasing mental health-related problems to the maximum during this period and afterward. In order to get ease from this ‘Mental Health Epidemic’, there are some solutions introduced by India and many different states are putting forward their initiatives.
There is an international conference being held at Gautam Buddha University (GBU), regarding post-Covid mental health and stress issues from December 22 to 24. This will be the seventh international conference of the Indian academy of health psychology being held at GBU. While there are over 500 representatives from six countries – France, Nepal, Palestine, Malaysia, and India, expected to be participating in The International Conference Of Indian Academy of Health Psychology (ICIAHP) and the chief guest for the inaugural day would be Ayush Minister, Dr. Daya Shankar Mishra.
The purpose of conducting the conference is to explore the impact of a pandemic on the mental health and well-being of the people at large. Also, to explore the global perspective on the rise of the rate of mental health problems and the burden of care due to it. As said by the GBU vice-chancellor Prof Ravinder Kumar Sinha. The conference Is organized by the department of psychology and mental health, School of Humanities and Social Science, GBU. The main theme for the conference is ‘Post COVID Mental Health and Well-being – A Global Perspective’. Many international and national organizations including the association of clinical psychologist Delhi- NCR (ACP), Conscious Mind Solution India, Macedonian Scientific Society for Autism (MSSA), Somatic Inkblot Society (SIS), USA, and Birthing the New Humanity (BTNH) France have supported ICIAHP.
A wonderful step was taken by the University to help battle post-COVID mental health-related problems. There are numerous benefits to attending it. This is an initiative to make a difference and contribute by raising awareness among people. The best of dealing with the stigma attached to mental health is to have a better understanding of these problems, from identifying the reasons to solutions. Such conferences offer plenty of opportunities to network with others and start a conversation about mental health. This event will be a day of inspiration, networking, learning, sharing, and motivation about mental health. Other than this, at an individual level, people can take care of their mental health by getting the right amount of sleep as many people are sleep deprived which can increase the risk of dementia upto 30%. Also, having a well-balanced and nutritious diet with some exercise will keep your mind healthy. Include mindfulness exercises in your life and have positive thoughts about yourself and your life.
The Government too has taken certain steps to promote mental health post-pandemic. These initiatives include-
- A 24/7 helpline set up by mental health professionals, to provide psychosocial support to the whole affected population, categorised as target groups of children, adult, women, elderly citizens, and healthcare workers.
- They are issuing guidelines for the management of mental health problems, serving different fragments of society.
- Promoting through media, and creative visuals to know about anxiety and depression and to promote a caring environment for all.
- Allocation and dissemination of thorough guidelines by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru.
- All the guidelines and other materials can be checked on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website under “Behavioral Health – Psychosocial helpline” (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/).
Apart from these, the Government has announced a “National Tele Mental Health Programme” in the Budget of 2022-23, to enhance further the quality of mental health counseling and care services in the country.
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