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“Depression: Let’s Talk”

‘World Health Day 2017 in Guwahati, Assam’ Event

It was a cold and windy Friday morning in Guwahati. The Organising Team gathered at NEDFi House, the venue. The delegates started pouring in. Registration number crossed 170. Dr Bornali Das, Psychiatric Social Worker from the Department of Psychiatry, Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH), Guwahati and Secretary of Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) started the proceedings with recitation of a caption that won the first prize among adults:

Tired of trying

Tired of hoping

Tired of coping

Tired of existing

Tired of breathing

Tired of living

“I am done”

Organising Chairperson Prof Hemendra Ram Phookun, Professor and Head of the Department (HoD), Department of Psychiatry, GMCH welcomed the delegates and invited Prof Atindra Kumar Adhikari, Principal-cum-Chief Superintendent, GMCH and Dr Debashish Roy, Regional Team Leader, East, World Health Organization – India (NPSP) to the dais. There was lighting of the lamp.

Distinguished dignitaries were felicitated with assists from Gitali Kakati (Editorial Assistant, Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences [OJPAS]) as well as Arundhati Bhagawati, Jyotismita Choudhury, and Manisha Bora from the Department of Psychiatry, GMCH.

Prof Adhikari delivered the keynote address, followed by World Health Day (WHD) theme presentation by Dr Roy.

Next was a skit on depression by Aawaz Foundation from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati and the performers were Devdarshan Chetia, Anuraag Khaund, Priyam Bhardwaj, Sagarika Pathak, Mandit Bhuyan, Anamriya Baruah, Annesha Goswami, Medha Kaushik, and Gaurav Barthakur.

Former HoD, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH Prof Dipesh Bhagabati delivered his lecture on “Depression: relevance and way forward in the state of Assam and North East Region of India” followed by the narration of his suffering from depression by Biswajyoti Das.

Dr Mythili Hazarika, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH and President of SoMHIL played a video on depression in vernacular language, i.e. Assamese. Thereafter an interactive session with audience was started. Prompt participation was rewarded with chocolates instantaneously. Happiness questionnaire was also presented and explained.

Prof Seema Rekha Devi, Professor and HoD, Department of Plastic Surgery, GMCH presented on depression from the perspectives of individuals after burn injury. It was followed by Rocky Srivastava’s speech on his experience following a burn injury who has successfully recovered from depression.

Prof Phookun moderated the Panel Discussion participated by Manisha Hazarika, Dr Srutimala Duara, PJ Baruah, Dr Debajit Nath, and Neelotpal Deka representing personalities from music, academics, literature, media, police, and law. It was followed by a lively participation from the audience.

Prize distribution of the build-up events followed. The judges were Dr Ahalya Raguram (Professor and Former HoD of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bangalore) and Varsha Avadhany (Organisational Development Consultant, Bangalore). Children’s caption competition was won by Dyuksha Hazarika from Royal Global School, Guwahati, Rinkie Bora from Shrimanta Shankar Academy, Guwahati, and Nimisha Patra from Royal Global School. Adults’ caption competition was won by Ricky Khuraijam, Sarangthem Bijeeta, and Lalnunmawie; all of them were from Arya Nursing College, Guwahati. The award for poster went to Nilakshi Kalita of Cotton College State University, Guwahati.

Renowned litterateur and poet Janardan Goswami recited a poem of his depicting the suffering of an individual going through depression.

Organising Secretary Dr Shyamanta Das, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH and Editor, OJPAS offered the vote of thanks on behalf of the Organising Team: the World Health Organization (WHO) represented by Dr Roy, Dr Subhajit Bhattacharjee (North East Sub-Regional Team Lead [Assam & 6 Sister States], WHO India -NPSP, Guwahati), and Dr Arup Kumar Deka (State Surveillance Medical Officer, Assam, WHO India – NPSP-Unit, Guwahati) and the Department of Psychiatry, GMCH.

Group photo

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