MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY FAIR
Oct 10, 2020
“What we achieve inwardly will change our outer reality.”
On the occasion of World Mental Health day on 10th October, the IBDP section conducted its first ever interschool Psychology competition. This Mental Health Advocacy Fair was aimed at generating awareness about the various mental health concerns which continue to be denied, stigmatized and trivialized in society. 6 IB schools pan India participated in this unique event which busted myths surrounding the science of Psychology. The participating IB schools were- Chatrabhuj Narsee school, Don Bosco International school, Cathedral & John Connon school, C.P. Goenka International school and Sreenidhi International school, Hyderabad.
A panel of 3 esteemed judges graced the occasion. Dr. Wilbur Gonsalves is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied Psychology and Counselling Centre, University of Mumbai. Mr. Neeraj Gangal currently works at FLAME University, Pune, assuming dual responsibilities as the Director of Alumni Relations and Coordinator, Experiential Learning Programmes. The third judge, Ms. Reena Patel has been working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Hazarimal Somani College, Mumbai, for more than a decade.
The Advocacy Fair shed light on various pressing matters of the mind, plaguing our society today. The audience was enlightened about issues like the role of social media in enhancing or stigmatizing mental health, the welfare of care givers, and the perils of following popular psychology. The Year 1 participants were questioned by the highly experienced judges, and the contestants voiced their opinions about how the matters of the mind are not limited to mental illnesses and discussed strategies to spread awareness about it. It was a truly enriching experience as the students and teachers got to contemplate over the present and future state of mental health, and learnt about ways to help reduce the taboo around the subject. C.P. Goenka International school, Oshiwara, bagged the first prize, having effectively elaborated upon the theme of ‘Mental Body’. They mentioned a term, ‘Body Memory’, to emphasize that equal priority needs to be given to both physical and mental health because one cannot work without the other. The runner-up team was from Chatrabhuj Narsee school and they had chosen to highlight the importance of mental health in children, as childhood experiences affect our view of the world and where we stand in it. Cathedral & John Connon school were the second runner-up and focused on the issue of gender bias in mental health. They discussed the ideas of masculinity, explored the reasons for men finding it difficult to talk about their mental health and suggested ways to combat the problem. The event concluded on a high note, having educated and built advocacy about the various types of mental health issues.