Nashik: There is not enough awareness in society about mental illnesses and there are many misunderstandings about it. Therefore, many problems arise in the treatment of patients with mental illness.
To overcome all of this, a group of psychiatrists in Maharashtra felt that there was a need to raise awareness about mental health up to the grassroots. It was born out of the ‘Psychiatrist in every village’ movement.
“In today’s fragmented family system, children are more often seen by teachers than parents, and teachers have many children’s observation experiences. Since they have many children at the same time, finding different origins of them and getting proper treatment and support at the right time will help to prevent the long-term side effects of that mental illness.
With the same idea, more than 200 psychiatrists undertook workshops for these teachers in villages throughout the state of Maharashtra”, informed Dr Jejurkar. Eight psychiatrists from Nashik district participated in the campaign.
In all, they conducted more than 3200 workshops throughout January and guided more than 4,500 teachers, mainly teachers in Zilla Parishad schools, teachers working in municipal schools, teachers in private schools, and teachers working in private institutions.
As a part of this campaign, this workshop was organized on January 29 for 800 teachers working in the Maratha Vidya Prasarak Samaj. The workshop was organized with the association of District Mental Health Program, District Hospital Nashik, Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Nashik and Nashik Psychiatric Society.
On the occasion Dr. Nakul Wanjari spoke to teachers about the problem of overconfidence and behavior and expressed his views on how to deal with such children. Dr Anup Bharti emphasized on the importance of holistic education while accommodating the children who taught the teachers through examples from the children about depression and school phobia.
Dr Mukesh Daund gave detailed guidance on addiction in children and the role of parents and teachers in them. Dr Hemant Sonanis spoke to everyone about how to interact with children, the emotional changes that occur in changing lifestyles, the emotional problems that come with aging, and how they respond to adults. Dr Umesh Nagapurkar Secretary Nashik Psychiatric Society elaborated on the details of the planning, its importance and the impact of the psychotherapy movement in the village.
WhatsApp to tackle mental illness
The like-minded psychotherapists planned to move this movement for villages through the WhatsApp group. There is no office of any kind, no one is an officer, the only lesson and that is awareness for mental health. In the first phase of this movement, in April 2019, psychiatrists went around villages and interacted with people on the topic of depression.
Also, until October 2019, 150 psychotherapists guided people on schizophrenia. They found that between 10 to 15 percent of children have a variety of mental illnesses, and the proportion of children with disabilities is significant. Around 40 to 50 percent of the total mental illness onset is found in people under the age of 18. Therefore, in the third phase of the movement, in January 2020, all psychiatrists decided to enlighten the teachers.