Traditional approaches, mind therapy can help achieve better mental health

ANI | Updated: Nov 05, 2017 17:45 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 5 (ANI): The third day of the 21st World Congress on Mental Health began with an experiential workshop on Guided Meditation conducted by Swami Naksatra of the Isha Foundation.

Speaking about the conference the Organizing Chairmen of the Conference, Dr Sunil Mittal, Director CIMBS India, and Co-founder and Past President, Indian Association of Private Psychiatry; and Dr Neelam Kumar Bohra, Patron, Delhi Psychiatric Society, and former President, Indian Association of Biological Psychiatry said, "It has been a day full of possibilities and fruitful sessions and deliberations. We have focused on how alternative and traditional approaches to mental healthcare can be enabling too. With medicines, there is also a need to explore the idea of taking the help of dharma and guru gyan to overcome emotional imbalances on an unconventional front. Virtual and augmented reality are opening up new possibilities in this area. On the last day there is a lot to assimilate and glean from the sessions and we look forward to more sessions and summing up what was gathered."

The session on the Guru as the Therapist discussed how Krishna was the very first psychotherapist who counselled a depressed Arjuna on the battlefield. He helped Arjuna reach a state of equilibrium to carry out his duties.

Speaking at the session, Swami Prakarshananda, Chinmaya Mission, said, "Instead of only relying on treatment as a way of life, one should focus on making preventive measures popular. Follow love, punctuality, truth, and non-violence to remain balanced."

Adding his views, Jain GuruMuni Jayant Kumar ji, Terapanth Sect said, "There is a need to strengthen one's emotional stability. Dharam gurus follow the path of simplicity and truthfulness. They can thus help people achieve emotional stability through tools such as meditation."

Sadia Khan, Centre for Peace and Spirituality International opined, "Each one of us can take the help of gurus in facing negative situations and converting that experience into an opportunity for positive growth."

In the session on, pre-hospital care in mental health, speakers focused on how this is an emerging area in mental healthcare. Dr Nimesh Desai, Director, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Delhi, and Chair, National Scientific Committee, said, "The management of a mental health crisis is not only complex but also challenging, particularly where specialized services are concerned. Pre-hospital care in mental health entails understanding the nature of crises and patient/public expectations of emergency services. This will in turn help facilitate the development of appropriate pre-hospital mental health pathways for those requiring urgent care."

The third day of the World Congress also had sessions on the role of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality in mental health, social action and judicial intervention: usefulness for child protection.

Virtual and augmented reality have the potential to be game-changers in delivering mental healthcare. VR can be used simply as a calming mechanism for people experiencing general anxiety, exhaustion, or even anger issues. Social action and judicial intervention have a large role to play, especially in case of the socially disadvantaged children. It is every child's right to be free of any form of discrimination or exploitation. These were some of the points focused on by speakers in these sessions.

The session on traditional approaches to mental healthcare discussed how mental healthcare through a traditional approach can emphasize on the interrelationship between mind, body, and spirit.

Speaking at the session, Naturopathist Dr Neeraj Nagendra, CMO, Yog gram, Haridwar and Dr Mohan Isaac, Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Western Australia said, "Traditional approach to mental healthcare involves combining therapy and medication. There is need to forge collaborative relationships between healthcare providers for more accessible, affordable, and acceptable mental healthcare in India. Self-help, diet and nutrition, various forms of therapy, meditation and medication together can help in fighting the battle with mental health issues in an effective manner." (ANI)