- World Suicide Prevention Day
- World Mental Health Day
- World Health Day
- World Schizophrenia Day
- World Disability Day
World Suicide Prevention Day 2011
On 10th September 2011, the World Suicide Prevention Day event was observed at the Dept. of Psychology, Jyothi Nivas College, Bangalore in conjunction with Medico-Pastoral Association.
There was an interesting debate on the topic ‘Teenage Suicide is mainly caused by Families’. Students of the College participated. Dr Sr. Elizabeth, Principal offered to host another inter-collegiate programme as the topic is important for the youths.
Dr Jagadish A, Hon. President of IPS-KB was the Chief Guest at the event; Dr. Fr. Divya Paul, HOD, Dept of Psychology, Montfort College was the Moderator of the Debate, which was judged by Dr. Ajit V. Bhide, Dr. Jagadish and Ms. Suvarnalatha Iyer, an orator and trainer. Dr. Rama Raju (and her colleagues Prof. Usha Joyappa & Prof. Sara Samuel of Jyothi Nivas College), helped in organizing the event. Mr. Rao, a Volunteer at Sahai spoke about his experiences at the helpline.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2012
‘Strengthening Protecting Forces and Instilling Hope’ was the theme chosen for the awareness program organized for observing The World Suicide Prevention Day 2012 in partnership with the Jain University. A short play competition was held. Four colleges, namely, the Maharanis Arts College, 9th Block Campus, J C Road Campus and the CMS Campus of the Jain University participated. It was moderated by Dr. Ajit V.Bhide. The presentations of the short plays were judged by Ms. Lalitha Das, Vice President of the Senior Citizens Club (Govt) and Ms. Diana Tholoor of Chrysallis Performance Arts Centre.
The Sahai Volunteers and the promoters of Sahai, Dr G.Gururaj, HOD, Dept of Epidemiology, NIMHANS, Mr. K. K. Rajagopal, Dr. Mohan Isaac (in absentia) and the trainers were felicitated with mementoes and certificates. Mrs. Thilaka Baskharan, gave her reflections as a Sahai Volunteer. The Chief Guest for this event was Prof. Dr. H. Chandrashekar, Secretary, Karnataka State Mental Health Authority.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2013
The World Suicide Prevention Day program on the theme ‘Stigma: A Major Barrier for Suicide Prevention’ was held by Medico Pastoral Association jointly with the Department of Psychology, Christ University, on Tuesday, 10th September 2013 at the Christ University Campus.
The University students very actively participated in a variety of dance forms, choreography, skit and debated on the topic ‘The onus of responsibility lies with the society and not the individual’ for this event.
The Chief Guest, Prof. Raguram, Consultant Psychiatrist of KIMS, Bangalore gave the keynote address. Dr. Mohan Isaac, President, MPA, did a presentation on MPA & its activities and certificates and prizes for the winners of the Debate were distributed.
Dr. Tony George, HOD, Dept of Psychology, and Dr. Bino Thomas, HOD, Dept of Social Work, Christ University, were responsible for the arrangements at the venue. Dr Joseph George, Chairperson of the Academic, Publications and Public events Committee, concluded the well-attended event with a vote of thanks.
World Mental Health Day 2011
On 10th October 2011, the World Mental Health Day 2011 was jointly observed by Pfizer India and Medico-Pastoral Association. The event was initiated with the inauguration of the well presented exhibition of ARTWORKS and a Special address by the Business Director of Pfizer, India, Mr. Suresh Subramanyam. The ARTWORKS were contributed by an artist from Chennai who had undergone treatment for schizophrenia and the residents of MPA who are under rehabilitation for disabilities arising from schizophrenia, bi-polar and personality disorders.
As an expression of creative ability, nine residents also showcased the formation of a three-tier ‘Human Pyramid’ within one minute, which was well appreciated by all those who attended the programme. Despite the residents being under medication, they were able to showcase the performance of difficult balancing act.
The Keynote address on Corporate Life and Mental Health was presented by Mr. K. Dinesh, member of the founding team of Infosys Ltd, who shared his experiences. Experiences from an Emotional Lifeline with the Corporate Sector were presented by Ms. Mrinalini Ellen Shinde, Clinical Head, 1 to 1 help.net Pvt.Ltd., and Preventive Strategies in relation to Stress were well shared by Dr. Sunita Simon Kurpad, Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry at St. John’s Medical College and Hospital. The event culminated in a Demonstration for Stress Relief by Ms. Diana Tholoor, Founder of Chrysallis Art Performance Center, Bangalore, in which all the visitors participated. Mr. Christopher S. Daniel, Counselor, MPA proposed vote of thanks.
World Mental Health Day – 2012
On 10th October 2012, World Mental Health Day was observed with distribution of sunflower badges quoting the words “Never Give Up” to Six hundred students of Goodwill’s High school. Ms. Lata Jacob was invited to share about World Mental Health Day and its theme: “Did you know? – There’s a difference between normal Sadness and Depression”. Similar sunflower badges were distributed to employees of Infosys by Ms. Diana Tholoor, MPA Volunteer and her team from Chrysalis, to highlight the public event.
On 11th October 2012- the World Mental Health Day awareness event was organized at MPA with support from Pfizer India. The students of the Acharya College of Management & Sciences (AIIMS) depicted an insightful short play on the pressures experienced by students from both the family and the educational system.
Dr. Mohan Isaac, Professor of Psychiatry (Population Mental Health), the University of Western Australia, Perth, (Formerly Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore), and President, MPA shared on ‘Depression – the Growing Crises’. He reflected that the amount of distress a person faces, and its effect on the person and his functioning, will be the determining factor to note, if a person is in depression. Dr Uttara Vidyasagar, Founder, Viveka Counselling Center, Bangalore, spoke on ‘Incidences of depression in the Community’ and she noted that now there is less stigma faced in people reaching out for help. She shared that more people are receptive to seeking counselling and medical help for depression. The interactive discussion moderated by Dr Ajit Bhide had queries from the floor on the interventions needed to provide help for those experiencing depression. It was summed up that ‘talking cures’ and medication will be the normal response to address Depression.
World Mental Health Day – 2013
The World Mental Health Day 2013 was held at the JRC Hall in UTC, in association with YMCA-UTC. The event started with an invocation by the YMCA-UTC training students. Mr. George Varghese, Director of the YMCA Training Dept in UTC gave the welcome address.
The Chief Guest was Dr Stanley C. Macaden, Consultant, Palliative Medicine, Church of South India Hospital, Bangalore and National Coordinator – Palliative Care Programme of the Christian Medical Association of India (CMAI). Dr Macaden spoke on the theme ‘Mental Health and Older Persons’ and alerted the audience that by the year 2030, India will have the world’s largest number of aged persons. He advocated the importance of right lifestyles, in order to cope with emerging mental and physical problems associated with ageing.
The Documentary ‘Hidden Pictures’ which was sourced from the Producer, Dr Delaney Ruston, MD, MyDoc Productions, UK, was well received by the audience. The Interactive session moderated by Dr Joseph George and the Panelists, Dr Ajit Bhide and Dr Stanley Macaden led to several points being discussed. It was evident that in India, due to the insufficient number of psychiatrists, many persons with mental health issues are not adequately attended to. The public event was concluded with a vote of thanks and refreshments.
World Health Day 2012
On 7th April 2012, the World Health Day was observed on the theme “Aging and Health: Good Health adds Life to Years” – a joint event organized by the Karnataka Association for Psychiatric Disabilities (KAPD), World Association for Psycho-social Rehabilitation (WAPR-India Chapter) and Medico Pastoral Association (MPA).
The earlier slogan used to be “Add years to your life” because mortality rate among the aged was high then, but now the slogan has changed to “Is it a good quality of life / Add life to your years”- Dr. Mohan K Isaac, MD (Psychiatry), DPM, FRCPsych, FRANZCP, Professor of Psychiatry (Population Mental Health), at the University of Western Australia, Perth and formerly Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India, emphasized this theme in his inaugural address at MPA.Dr Mohan Isaac also highlighted that the emotional health of those aging is often not taken care of adequately and pointed out that the activities of the WHO have been successful in maintaining the longevity of life. The WHO calls an ‘active ageing’ approach, as one of the key components for maintaining good health beyond 60 years.
Dr R. Lakshman, President, KAPD, in his welcome address, spoke of the increasing lifestyle changes causing ill health and that it was important to take care of one’s health before the age of 60 years. He also appealed to the Commissioner for Disabilities, to look into supporting the agencies that work with persons with psychiatric disabilities.
The event had an invocation sung by Ms Mangala from MIND, an exhibition of sketches and Artworks done by Mr. Rajiv Sardana from MPA and, Ms Sharada from MIND. A skit titled ‘A person reborn’ was conceptualized and performed by the MPA residents, to show the encouraging change related effects of an ill person who is supported by families.
An interactive discussion moderated by Dr J W Sabhaney, Chairman, Program Committee & Advisor, MPA had on the Panel: Dr Santosh, Consultant Physician of Santosh Hospital who spoke on “Emerging Health Concerns”. He shared his concern that dementia is on the increase, Mr T. Ganeshan, Vice President, Senior Citizens Club of Rotary East, who shared on the “Emerging needs of Senior Citizens” , especially the need for mental peace, and Mr. Sreedaran , President of Senior Citizens Club (Govt) who highlighted the “ Challenges faced by the elderly” and encouraged everyone to come out of the thought that “I am old” groove. Ms. Nirmala Lingapaji, an advocate and representative from the Nightingales, noted that there is no social security, and that it is important to develop emotional stability and economic independence. She encouraged everyone to have in writing a will and be a ‘value addition’ in life
The Commissioner for Disabilities, Shri K V Rajanna, gave the keynote address as the Chief Guest, and he shared that he has been putting together many programs for the Senior Citizens under the Women and Child Department as this category needs protection and is looking forward to networking for future activities.
The event concluded with vote of thanks by Ms.Lata Jacob, Clinical Manager, MPA, for the support extended by the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation Foundation (WAPR-India Chapter) who sponsored the costs involved. It was encouraging to see that the event was attended by representatives of the KAPD, Athma Shakti Vidyalaya, Cadabams, Family Fellowship Society, MIND, Richmond Fellowship Society, representatives from the Senior Citizens Club, from WAPR and members of the society.
World Schizophrenia Day 2013
24th of May is celebrated the world over as World Schizophrenia Day. The day was created to raise awareness about the disease, enabling those suffering to get immediate help, and to increase support for all those affected by the disease.
In Bangalore, the theme “Living with Schizophrenia: Challenges & Prospects ” was observed by Medico Pastoral Association (MPA) with a programme sponsored by the World Association for Psycho-social Rehabilitation (WAPR, International). The Chief Guest for the program was Dr T Murali, Secretary General for WAPR and HOD, Department of Psychiatry, M.S. Ramaiah Hospital. He gave the Keynote Address. This well attended programme also showcased a song by the Residents of MPA and a theatrical curtain raiser ‘Enigma’ conceptualized by the staff & residents. This was followed by an interactive discussion with Dr. Nirmala Srinivasan from ACMI, Dr T Murali and Mrs. Lata Jacob from MPA on the panel. This session was moderated by Dr Ajit V. Bhide, Vice President, MPA.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2013
On 3rd December 2013, an initiative to observe the global theme ‘Break Barriers, Open Doors: For an Inclusive Society’ set by the WHO was observed by the Medico-Pastoral Association and the WAPR-IC and WAPR-FN.
The event held at Medico-Pastoral Association started with the release of a hundred balloons by all the participants, visitors and dignitaries symbolizing the unity and joy of the freeing experience, irrespective of the various challenges and difficulties faced.
This was followed by an invocation by students from the RFS-PG College. Dr. Mohan Isaac, President of MPA gave the welcome address and invited the dignitaries to light the lamp. The Chief Guest, Dr. J. Alexander, IAS (Rtd.), introduced by Dr. Gladys Sumitra, Secretary of MPA, gave his inaugural address and this was followed with a cultural program performed by students of the Bubbles School for Autism, Spastics Society of Karnataka, Kutumba Foster Care Home for Girls with Physical Disabilities, LIZA’s Home and the residents of MPA.
Shri K.S. Rajanna, Commissioner for Disabilities, Government of Karnataka, gave his message and did the honor of releasing the book ‘ Nanna Nantara Yaru?’, published by Navakarnataka, which is the Kannada version of the Handbook, ‘What after Me?’, first edition published by MPA. The Commissioner shared his personal experience of overcoming his handicap and moving forward and upward in his service.
An interactive session chaired by Dr S. Kalyana Sundaram, CEO-RFS, had Prof.H. Chandrashekar , Secretary, State Mental Health Authority, Govt. of Karnataka, and Mrs Rukmini Krishnaswamy , Director, Spastics Society of Karnataka, India.
Mr Vasudev Murthy, Treasurer WAPR-IC, gave the vote of thanks to all the participants, dignitaries and visitors. The event was made possible through sponsorships from WAPR-IC & WAPR-FN, Strides Acrolab Ltd, and donations.