After two days of exciting pre-Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) events, the opening ceremony of MHAW 2014 kickstarted the activities in front of a packed auditorium in Lady Shri Ram College on Tuesday morning.
The ceremony began with a speech by the LSR Department of Psychology Treasurer, Bhavna Mehrotra, who talked about the theme and the vision of the Mental Health Awareness Week.
Every year, a one week long series of discussions, competitions and events take place, to throw light on a very crucial aspect of people’s well-being i.e. our mental health, which is unfortunately often overlooked. Last year the theme encompassed pressures of being young in today’s ever-changing world. This year, the theme that has been chosen is ‘Living with mental illness: A closer look’. Another focus of MHAW 2014 shall be identifying the greatest challenges that stand in the way of our nation with respect to treating mental illnesses and how these can be overcome.
Following the introduction of this years’s theme, a video of a TED talk was shown. The talk was given by a successful professor of law, Elyn Saks who suffers from schizophrenia. She focused on the idea that people are not ‘schizophrenics’, but they are people with schizophrenia. This left the audience pondering over the way they think about mental illnesses.
The next part of the ceremony was directed towards sharing the results of an online survey that was conducted on LSR students to assess their mental health awareness. The results of this survey showed that students of LSR were largely aware of mental illness. After this, the schedule of events were announced.
Ms. Sentisungla Longchar, HOD of the Department of Psychology spoke about India having better hospitals in comparison to our neighboring countries. She expressed her wish to make this year’s MHAW a successful event which will instill awareness among LSR students.
The ceremony was a true representation of the best of LSR coming together among several students, to showcase a vibrancy of knowledge and spreading awareness.
Reported by Sabeeha Alam
Photographs by Meghna Solanki