Deepak Kumardeepak

M. Phil Clinical Psychology, 2nd Year

PGIBAMS, Raipur (C.G)


It feels me immense pleasure to share my gratitude to the whole team of Positive Psychology @ NIMHANS CENTRE FOR WELL BEING! for conducting such a meaningful program which starts with the awareness of these two issues on ground level/base level and ends up with the heights of the sky/top level in various communities which seems definitely fruitful to peoples and society.

It was also a great experience for me to do something as a volunteer for the cause of Mental Health & Road Safety, “Reach Out Campaign”.

Very beginning before starting my volunteer work I had decided one thing that my target group will be in the age range of 15 to 40 years either educated or uneducated does not matter. Peoples who were educated & who could understand the facts written on cards were only given the cards and other peoples who were not educated were only allowed to listen the discussion properly.

Because of the ignorance and lack of awareness regarding real facts either related to their mental health issues or related to safe driving, this group is definitely on high risk so it requires more focus. After then as I had started my work.

I started my work to ask peoples about the basic difference between mental illness and physical illness and I found that most of the peoples they could differentiate between these two terms in their laymen language rightly but as per their mental illness was concerning, I found that only very few peoples out of them knows little bit about mental illness, (i.e. “bad badana (muttering), nind na ana (insomania), ghar se bhag jana (wandering away from home), sanka karna (suspiciousness), gussa karna (aggression)” but they does not know or aware about the facts related to mental illnesses and even they does not know anything about how to keep their mental health good & whom to consult for treatment. They shared that in their society it is very common that peoples who had these illnesses still preferring Ojhas & Baigas.

Then, I had given them the basic information on Mental Health, Mental Illness & Stigma in brief and gave them the commitment card and fact sheets. During this discussion, they had listened all the things very carefully and they had asked some questions also (i.e. about the causes of mental illness & how we can keep our mental health good).

Second theme was Safe driving, Smart choice, while discussing with the peoples about this issue, I had found that mostly people knows about safe driving and precautions taken during driving two wheelers and four wheelers, but in spite, of knowing also they are not committed to follow it properly whileroad safety is lacking. Along with that I also realized that the peoples who are at younger age they are engaging in more risk taking behaviours with in the company of other peer group, they said that we do have normal speed limit of two wheelers (60-90 km/hrs). They had also said that for them 20-25 kms distance was a short distance which they were covering without helmets.

Thus, overall I found that peoples are more on neglecting of safety practices like use of helmets, seat belts, speed limit. They are not as much concerning about these issues seriously. After that I had given them the fact sheet about Safe driving and collect their commitments cards back, with a key message to encourage & share with other peoples as much as possible on these of two issues.

Thus, I can say that these types of campaign & awareness may also work to decrease the stigma related to mental disorders and make peoples aware to prefer safe practices while driving. In addition to information about these themes, the campaign might also include information about some issues like certain educational and recreational programs which may help to prevent or decrease mental health problems and thus alleviate the stigma. Awareness could inspire individuals and organizations to begin such programs. These types of program and campaign should be conducted in school, colleges, universities, and on other community levels.

Awareness of problems alone may begin to reduce stigma, but will not lead to significant changes unless individuals are also told where they can go for help. The public must also be made aware of whatever resources are available to provide further assistance or treatment for mental health problems. Anti-stigma education is crucial in changing attitudes and behavior.

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