Action research with youth in colleges continues under Deepa Pawar's [my ]project for Youth Mental Health as a GYAA Advocate working for #SDG3 in India.
117 students of Model College along with 8 teachers laughed, learned and unlearned in an enthralling session on mental well-being, intersections of social hierarchies and our mental health, mental health as a right and related legal provisions.
Our recurring theme of #MentalHealthSocialJustice was reiterated. Interactive games, quiz, screening of a short film kept the students interested as they connected gender, caste, sexuality, disability, religion and social insecurities such as unemployment and displacement to one's emotional and mental well-being.
During feedback, a young woman asserted that, "Failures should be simply seen for what they are. Those who fail have equal rights as everyone else, they should not be targeted by friends, family and education system." A young man asked to know how to deal with mental imbalance once we have identified that we are suffering from it. Deepa stressed that the first step is to identify, accept it, share about it instead of staying silent and ask for help before it gets unbearable.
Helpline numbers, names & addresses of mental health insitutions were shared who help from basic to severe cases. 3 students approached us at the end with their own, their family members' and friend's cases. All have been given appointments for baseline counselling which will be followed up with referrals if need be.
Shout out to the supportive teachers & management of Model College, Dombivli. Thank you CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation for supporting this program.