Depression, anxiety and suicidal cases are escalating in number with fast pace life, development of technology, nuclear families, competition among students, westernization, pressure to be perform early, inflation and so on. These psychosocial factors affect college going students to a great extent. Over 100,000 people die by suicide in India every year and 5 % of them are students (NCRB, 2006). As World Mental Health day promotes discussion of mental disorders, and investment in prevention, promotion and treatment services. We took it as a platform and celebrated world mental health week in our department under the guidance of Prof. (Dr.) Abha Singh, Director (AIPS) and Acting Head (AIBHAS). This year the theme was The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health”. We organized activities for our students to make mental health awareness since College is the time to move into adulthood, where possibly the students have to be resilient enough to deal with difficulties in their life. It is the period in which students are vulnerable to psychological problems in comparison to other age group according to the researches.
Sessions of Meditation were given every morning to the students for the entire week. Meditation helps in attainment of subjective experience that is very restful, silent, and of heightened alertness, often characterized as blissful.
On 10th October, 2011, a Mental Health Camp was organized at different blocks of Amity University. The students gathered a data of 188 Amity students on stress level and the sources of stress. The data was analyzed and presented on 17th October at the closing function of world Mental Health week.
Poster Making Competition with the topic of mind, body and soul was organized on 11th October, 2011. The students participated in the competition enthusiastically and posters were also displayed.
Presentations on various issues of mental health were presented by the students on12th October 2011. The presentations were predominantly based on coping strategies, how psychology helps in investing for mental health in our daily life etc.
Closing function was organized on 17th October, 2011 at C- Block Auditorium in the presence of Prof. (Dr.) Abha Singh, Director (AIPS) and Acting Head (AIBHAS). She concluded the function with her motivating speech on the theme which was investing in mental health. She summarized activities done by students and faculty members which helped in creating psychological awareness at Amity University campus, NOIDA. She also spoke about future directions that can be implemented to develop “Healthy Minds for Healthy Society”.
The topic entitled “Is It Essential to Invest in Mental Health” was discussed by the students with great zeal. They shared their views about investing in mental health and present condition of mental health in India.
Two short Movies named “Suicide” and “The Last Option” was shown in the closing function. These were on suicidal ideas and overcoming them. It gave insight to the students about the thoughts which are in person mind prior to the attempt of suicide and how they can be changed by positive thinking and subsequent positive action.
Presentation on “Preventive Measures among Students for Healthy Coping” interpreted the results of the data which was collected on the first day on Mental Health Week. The results indicated towards high stress in personal area of students which includes sleep problems, eating problems / nutrition, body image etc. Students were found to be high on some factors of stress.
In the end, Results of Poster Making competition and Presentations were announced and certificates of appreciation and participation were distributed to the students by Prof. (Dr.) Abha Singh. She also appreciated efforts made by students and faculty members and congratulated them. We thank Prof. (Dr.) Abha Singh for enlightening us with such great ideas and being a constant source of guidance and strength.