Lady Shri Ram College for Women

LSR holds Mental Health Awareness Week

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Lady Shri Ram College for Women held its annual Mental Health Awareness Week through the past week. The theme for this year was ‘Living with Mental Illness: A closer look’. The Mental Health Awareness Week has been an annual tradition of the Department of Psychology for four years now. The students of the department come together under the aegis of a staff advisor and host a variety of events ranging from panel discussions and talks to film-making and designing competitions.

The special week, which was declared open on August 26, has its foundation on the objective of eliminating the stigma attached to mental illness. A survey assessing the knowledge of mental illness amongst LSR students was released at the inaugural event which was followed by the screening of a TED Talk on Schizophrenia. A panel discussion with psychiatrists and lawyers on the panel discussed the laws that the Indian Union has with regard to the issue of mental illness.

The students of the department staged a dance drama on body image and eating disorders along with a street play. The competitive events included Psyched- a game show with and rounds like Pictionary based on psychology related questions, Short Cut- a short film competition and Open and Shutter- a photo-essay competition. Cover designs for Zeitgeist- the journal of the Psychology Department were also invited. The department was also addressed by Pankaj, a student from Hansraj College who suffered from bipolar disorder. He spoke about his therapy sessions and how he got over the disorder and how he was asked to leave the National Defence Academy because of his ‘condition’.

The focus areas were understanding the experience of a mental illness through accounts by people who have been coped well with a mental disorder; challenging myths and tackling the stigma associated with mental illnesses; learning how practicing professionals in India approach treatment and the challenges they face in the process and understanding laws that pertain to mental health and the rights that need to be accorded to persons with mental illness and their families.

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[email protected]; Alankrita is a student of Journalism at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Technology is one thing that terrifies her and at the helm of a good old newspaper is where she hopes to be one day. Reading, writing and holidaying (not necessarily in that order) are her favourite things to do. If not a journalist, she would be a politician, as goes the trend.

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