Dr Bornali Das (MSW, MPhil, PhD), Senior Lecturer, Psychiatric Social Work, Department of Psychiatry, Gauhati Medical College Hospital, Guwahati, Assam and Secretary, Society for Mental Health in LAMIC (SoMHiL) was invited for a two-day workshop on “Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing” held on 19 and 20 April 2017 in Rajiv Gandhi Central University, Doimukh, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. Dr Bornali delivered on ‘Risk and protective factors of suicide prevention’ and ‘Psychological first aid training for youth’. In her presentation she showed videos related to suicide survivors, activities like balloon burst, role play done from stories of real life situations and related to suicide risk; these generated interesting discussion and insights. Delegates were taught to administer SADPERSONS suicide assessment scale and few key questions to assess the intent. Oxford Happiness questionnaire was distributed and assessed towards the end of the sessions. Delegates reported they were enriched to gain knowledge on their happiness index. Faculties and delegates of the university have applauded on her deliberation.
Recent statistics say that there is a rise of youth suicide attempt and suicidal behaviour in the state of Arunachal Pradesh along with substance abuse. The university is planning to open “Centre for Youth Development” under Department of Social Work. Psychological counselling and community support services will be undertaken.
The workshop was attended by 70 delegates from across departments like Economics, Mathematics, Sociology, Education, Commerce, Physical Education apart from Department of Social Work students. Dr Tame Kena, Psychiatrist, RK Mission Hospital, Itanagar spoke on ‘Role of depression in suicide’. Ms Buli Daimari, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam energised the delegates with activities focusing on ‘Lifestyle and stress’. Dr Apurba Saha, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Tezpur Central University delivered on ‘Identifying emotions and stress and prevention of suicide’. The session of Mrs Angshu Lama, Lecturer cum Vice Principal, School of Nursing, Down Town Hospital, Guwahati was on ‘Positive metal health perspective and strengthening gatekeepers of suicide prevention’.