Srinagar, May 27, 2021: J&K State Emergency Operation Centre, Srinagar, in collaboration with Medicins San Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), National Institute of Disaster Management, Government of India, The Institution of Engineers India (IEI) J&K State Centre, Srinagar and Divisional Administration, Kashmir organised a Webinar on Mental Health First Aid today.
The Chief Guest on the occasion was Domenico Spagnolo, Mental Health Manager, MSF, Kashmir. The resource persons included Er. Aamir Ali, Chairman Institution of Engineers, Raffy Matutino Project Coordinator MSF, Dr. Amir A. Khan, Faculty NIDM, Dr. Arshid Hussain Beigh & Aijaz Ahmad Sofi from MSF and Ms Nahal, Counsellor-Educator, MSF-Kashmir. The webinar was attended by over 250 participants, including Additional Deputy Commissioners, Senior level officers, Council and Corporate Members of Institution of Engineers, Students and Staff of SSM College of Engineering , Parihaspora, National Institute of Technology Srinagar, besides Mohmmed Suhail Wani & Bilquees Dar, Disaster Management Consultants and Yogita Grabyal, Young Professional NIDM.
Er. Aamir Ali said that mental health is very important for our sanity and well-being and due to Pandemic the mental health of Toddlers, Children, Adolescent, Youth, Adults, Elders, the specially-abled persons etc have been affected. Children and youth have been forced into confinement of their homes and their physical activities have reduced, increasing their frustration levels, domestic violence has also increased and livelihood of poor has got affected, causing mental stress.
Miss Nahal explained in detail the techniques and tips for mental health first aid, to overcome mental health issues during Covid situation. She stressed that psychological-aid should only be given in a compassionate manner with the consent of the victim/affected person. Mental-Health First Aider should be an excellent listener and the support must not be given as a favour, but with empathy towards the affected persons. She stressed on the techniques of Look, Listen and Link and cautioned that one should keenly observe any behavioural change including physical and emotional outbursts, particularly in our elders and youth. She suggested regular deep breathing exercise, meditation and spiritual connection with friends and family to help overcome stress levels.