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Indian Psychiatric Society, and Parag Pratishthan Mumbai conducted one act drama competition on Mental Health

Right to Left Archee Gangan Sathe,Secretary Parag Prathisthan, Dr Ashok Manjrekar,President Parag Prathisthan, Dr Neena Sawant,,President IPSWZB, Dr Manoj Bhatawdekar, Psychiatrist and Guest of Honour Dr Amol Deshmukh, Winner, Chinmay Sume

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February12:  Indian Psychiatric Society,Western  Zonal Branch(IPSWZB) and Parag Pratishthan Mumbai have jointly collaborated to conduct this one act drama competition  on the theme of Mental Health  and its Awareness at Veer Savarkar Auditorium, Shivaji Park on 9th Feb 2024. An excellent response was received with many theatre groups even calling after the last date was over. A total of 7 one act dramas were shortlisted for the competition   which began at 8.30am today. This initiative was taken by Dr Neena Sawant, the President of IPSWZB so as to improve awareness about mental health in the general population.

Mental wellbeing is the responsibility and requirement of every individual for a better life. Today, the prevalence of mental illnesses is very high in our country and only 20% reach the psychiatrist. Many are unaware of their emotional problems and if they are aware, they are scared to open up and tell other people as they feel embarrassed and stigmatized. This may have dangerous consequences as people refrain from seeking help and try to control their emotions. They may or may not be successful and this may give rise to increasing rates of depression and suicides.

Improving mental health awareness can be done in various ways and one such method is the use of drama to highlight the emotional angst and show that where there is a will to get better, there definitely is a way. This was wonderfully depicted in the various one act dramas done today.

Audience participation between the acts was undertaken by IPSWZB in collaboration with Mooltatvam where Myth busting and stressbusting games were played with the audience to reduce stigma and increase positive mental health. The audience were also shown various video clips on mental health awareness, depression and suicide prevention. 

Shri Vishwas Nangre Patil could not attend but sent a video message and best wishes. He congratulated IPSWZB and Parag Prathisthan for taking this commendable initiative and expressed that public education is absolutely needed. Dr Manoj Bhatawdekar was the other Guest of Honour who gave away the prizes. The judges for the event were Shri Narayan Jadhav, Actress Chinmayi Sumeet , Psychiatrist from Aurangabad Dr Amol Deshmukh and Smt Urmila Sawant who shared their experience.

Dr Neena Sawant expressed that reaching out to people using various mediums of 

communication was important and IPSWZB is going to continue this campaign.

 She also informed that she had made an App with Mooltatvam ; Saksham: The Mental Wellness App freely available  on play store for all android users in a gamified format  to make people realise about their emotions and take steps to rectify the same. The app also has self-help techniques to destress like breathing, yoga,dancing,music ,positive thoughts which can be used by the person on acquiring stars when they play the game . The App is in English, Hindi and Marathi so it can be easily used by all. A digital mental health toolkit for the public was also released.

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