Jamia deliberates mental health of young persons: Post-Covid scenario

Jamia deliberates mental health of young persons: Post Covid scenario

The importance of creating an ecosystem to address the mental health issues confronting young adults and identifying vulnerable groups for requisite support was highlighted in a webinar on Mental Health of Young Adults- Post-COVID Scenario organised by Jamia Millia Islamia on Friday.

Introducing the theme of the webinar Prof. S. M. Sajid, Professor of Social Work and Chairman, Mental Health & Counseling Committee (MHCC) said the all-pervasive pandemic has had an adverse impact on the psychological wellbeing of the youth resulting in unprecedented psycho-social and emotional disruptions.

The mental health of an average citizen has now become precarious manifesting in high levels of fear, anxiety, depression, and other psychosomatic symptoms such as loss of appetite, sleep disorders, etc., he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Najma Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia spoke about the necessity of creating an ecosystem for offering sensitive response to mental health issues faced by students and other stakeholders in the university.

She talked about the efforts that the university has made in this connection including setting up of a Mental Health and Counseling Committee, reconnecting students with their families through a series of administrative measures and allaying their anxieties about examinations through issuance of guidelines from time to time. She underscored how every effort was made to address the differential needs of the students through the observance of mandated protocols.

Prof. Nimesh Desai, Director, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, New Delhi dispelled all impressions of Mental Health acquiring epidemic proportions. He however, underlined the shortage of Mental Health Professionals and inadequacy of services available in the country.

He opined that since Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the rise of psycho-social distress, it was important to focus on mental health issues and work for the creation of support systems for the vulnerable even as we encourage youth to develop self-awareness, resilience, healthy lifestyle and positive outlook.

Prof. Surinder Jaswal, Professor, Centre for Health and Mental Health and Deputy Director, TISS, Mumbai highlighted how youth has gone missing from our analytical studies and discourses during the ongoing pandemic.

Society needs to be in a state of preparedness to minimize the impact of the economic fallout of Covid-19 on youth that makes up 1/5th of the Indian population, she added. Planning, thinking and innovative strategies could help us address all challenges arising out of mental health issues, she averred.

Prof. Rajat Mitra, Mental Health Consultant, Amity University spoke about mental health from the experiential point of view and flagged how a significant number of people grapple with uncertainties about their future and in some cases develops suicidal ideations. It was important to develop support systems for them even as we sit together to provide a new set of directions to younger people, he emphasized.

Earlier Prof. S. M. Sajid welcomed all the distinguished speakers, Deans, HoDs, Directors, students and invited guests.

Dr. Rashmi Jain, Department of Social Work, JMI conducted the proceedings of the webinar. Prof. Neelam Sukhramani, Department of Social Work, JMI moderated the Q & A session.

Prof. Naved Iqbal, Department of Psychology, JMI proposed a vote of thanks. The webinar saw huge participation from India and abroad.