By Sanghamitra Ghosh
Dehradun, 23 Aug: Raphael hosted a three-day Continuing Rehabilitation Education (CRE) workshop from 10 to 12 August. This programme is accredited by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). All special educators registered with RCI are required to update their registrations every five years. They need to collect 100 points by attending workshops as participants or resource persons, or doing another course.
The theme of this CRE was ‘Promotion of School Mental Health’. With an excellent line-up of speakers, the workshop had thirty participants from various organisations who interacted and discussed different topics within the realm of Mental Health.
The first day started with the keynote speech on the importance of Mental Health, which was delivered by Sanghamitra Ghosh. Dr Surender Dhalwal, a Psychologist from NIEPVD, Dehradun, talked about the relation between physical health, mental health and mental illnesses. The third lecture was given by Rizwan Ali from Latika Roy Foundation and a lawyer by profession. He explained the POCSO Act and Juvenile Justice Act of 2015. He also explained the various types of sexual abuse that children go through and how they can be reported.
Psychologist Dr Rashi Bhatnagar talked about Mental Health and Disability. She emphasised the factors contributing to Mental Health and how to prevent and overcome them. Meghna Sandhu, from Raphael, talked about the effects of mental health issues on one’s life and what the different mental health problems are. After a brief lunch, Payal Khanna, a special educator and counsellor from Shri Ram Centennial School got all the participants to do an activity, understanding and practicing mindfulness. Her presentation explained how to identify mental health issues in colleges. She also gave all the participants a self-evaluation depression index test. The day concluded with Bina Rawat speaking about HIV and AIDS.
The second day commenced with a presentation by Monisha Dutta, Principal of The Doon Girls School, about identifying mental health issues in schools. She focused on how emphasis should be laid on identifying issues at the early stages of a student’s life and how a teacher should know the signs to look out for. The second presentation was by Jeet Bahadur from the BURANS organisation, Dehradun, on identifying mental health issues in the community. He talked about how to identify a person in the community who might have depression and how to create a friendly relationship with them and offer support. Kalpana Rawat from Latika Roy Foundation explained how to set up a mental health programme in schools and why it is important. Rashi Bhatnagar ended the day with a talk on the roles and responsibilities of a school counsellor.
The last day of the CRE was a more interactive day. It started with Meghna Sandhu leading case discussions, and explaining through videos the different mental health disorders. The last session of the day was conducted by Prerna Singh from BURANS. She presented about the impact of the school environment on mental health and how it affects the mindset of the student. She held participative activity and showed pictures and videos to explain better.
All the participants enjoyed learning and discussing over the course of three days. Since this was the first offline event in the last two years, they were relieved to be in a space where they could interact and get their opinions across without needing to bother about technology.
By Sanghamitra Ghosh