Workshop on “Youth & Mental Health” held at Women’s College Srinagar

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Srinagar: The Inner Call, Forum for Evolution, Development & Awareness in collaboration with Department of Psychology at Government College for Women M.A. Road Srinagar conducted a one-day awareness workshop on the topic Youth & Mental Health.

Students from various departments of the college participated in the awareness workshop.

Selected students spoke about various Mental Health issues like addiction, peer pressure, anxiety, stress, substance abuse, psychological first aid, family discord etc. They also spoke at length on the issues youth face due to mental health issues and the stigma related to it.

Poster Making Activity was also held during the workshop in which students expressed various mental health issues through art. They also gave a detailed description of the poster they had designed.

This workshop is part of the regular initiative by The Inner Call for bringing awareness of mental wellness among the youth.

Speaking on the occasion, Roma Wani, Chairperson, The Inner Call said, “Attitude of gratitude, unconditional love, firm faith and practical dreams are the secret for a healthy existence.” She further defined formal, non-formal and informal education for the participants. She also discussed with students various mental health issues faced by them.

Professor Shaheen Altaf, Principal of GCW, appreciated the efforts of The Inner Call. She laid stress on conducting more and more activities focusing on mental health.

She also spoke at length about various mental health issues faced by students that go unattended as they cannot be seen as compared to physical aches and pains which are detected immediately.

Professor Altaf said that such activities make students aware of the issues of mental health and also increase awareness about the support systems available.

Affan Yesvi, Secretary of The Inner Call, said that modern times are increasingly marked by nuclear families where youth lack the support system provided by the grandparents and the larger family network.

He said that in close-knit traditional societies, children grew up in an environment of sharing and caring. But youth were becoming self-centered now. Hence there was an alarming increase in the cases of anxiety and depression.

Professor Sabia Durani, HOD Psychology, highlighted the importance of organizing mental health awareness programmes.

Professor Durani said, “The recent trends indicate an alarming increase in the rate of suicides in Kashmir. Youngsters are easily falling prey to substance abuse. They probably believe that drugs will reduce their problems like stress, trauma, anxiety and depression. It is normal for young adults to feel various types of emotional distress. But they should talk openly about it and seek counseling.”

The speakers expressed concern that one can see issues of anxiety and stress related to modern technology like Facebook or social media platforms. The speakers observed that youth were getting stressed or upset if they were not able to access the social media platforms.

The participants also discussed that as a result of mental health issues, drug abuse and substance abuse had seen a worrying increase.

Mr Yesvi said it was a consistent effort on the part of The Inner Call to raise awareness regarding the major issues faced by the youth.

He stressed that there should be no stigma attached to anxiety, depression or other mental disorders, and the individuals suffering from it should opt for regular counseling.

The Inner Call offers counseling on mental health issues and ways to deal with personal challenges at its central office located in Jawahar Nagar.

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