Mental Health An ‘essential Part Of Who We Are’, Says NSCW Chairperson - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

Mental health an ‘essential part of who we are’, says NSCW chairperson

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By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Mar 16, 2024 11:35 pm
Mental health
Dr. Atoka Sumi addressing the gathering on mental health and well-being in Dimapur on Saturday.

DIMAPUR — A discourse on ‘Women’s mental health and well-being’ held at Tourist Lodge, Dimapur on Saturday, delved into the essentials of mental health and the relevance of self-care for one’s well-being

The event was organised by the Lapiye Centre for Mental Well-being in collaboration with Gracious Life Foundation and Prodigal’s Home.

Chairperson of Nagaland State Commission for Women (NSCW) W Nginyeih Konyak, in her keynote address, observed that mental health is a topic that often remains in the shadows though it is crucial for one’s well-being.

Mental health, she said, affects everyone regardless of age, gender or background and that it is an “essential part of who we are”.

 “The responsibility that women shoulder the whole day causes mental illness. We should not take mental health very lightly as it is a serious issue. Exposure to unfavourable social, economic, and geo-political including violence, poverty, inequality is at risk of experiencing mental health conditions,” Nginyeih said.

Mental health
W. Nginyeih Konyak the gathering on mental health and well-being in Dimapur on Saturday.

In the context of Nagaland, she said Naga women are so resilient that they can handle mental pressure better, unlike men who are more vulnerable although they appear strong.

“More than one in five women experience mental health condition in ways through depression, anxiety or trauma. About 20% of women experience rape or attempted rape and women are exposed to higher level of sexual and domestic violence and this leads to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” she expounded.

Maintaining that almost all women go through PTSD owing to various issues including discrimination and stigmatisation, she said this is of serious concern and needs to be addressed collectively.

“Of all the people, disabled persons are the most insecure group in the society. We talk about inclusive society but is not practiced. We talk about mental health focused only on ourselves but do not include the disabled persons and their well-being and mental health is overlooked,” the NSCW chairperson pointed out.

She went on to state that “in our society, people with mental health continue to experience wide range of violation of human rights. Many are excluded from community and discriminated against while many cannot access mental health care”.

“I advocate promotion and prevention; intervention is required in identifying the individual social structural determinants of mental health to reduce risk, establish supportive environment of mental health. Prevention intervention is very needed in the society. And this could be done through community based mental health care which is more accessible and acceptable than institutional care and helps prevent human rights violation,” she affirmed.

Help, she said, does not mean only government or medical treatment.

“It can be you, me and from our own kitchen and community based. Promoting women’s mental health is a priority and could be achieved with high policies and laws that promote and protect mental health supporting care givers to provide majority care, implementing school based programs for youngsters and improving the quality of community,” she added.

Mental health
Imlibenla Mongro addressing the gathering on mental health and well-being in Dimapur on Saturday.

Clinical psychologist at the Christian Institute Of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR), Imlibenla Mongro, the resource person of the discourse ‘Emotion and self-care,’ enlightened the gathering that emotions come from “our body and the part that controls our emotion is called amygdala”.

The psychologist implored upon women to stop demonising emotions and that the right approach is not controlling but managing. She also called on them “not to do anything major when emotional”.

According to her, one can manage emotions through self-care even as she encouraged women to do anything that brings them peace and joy, on the condition that it should not harm them or others.

“Self-care should not be selfish. Whatever brings you peace should be self-care and it should be continuous and one should not search for self-care only during crisis,” the psychologist asserted.

Consultant dermatologist at Eden Medical Centre, Dr, Atoka Sumi, who spoke on ‘Healthy skin-healthy life,’ told the gathering not to judge a product based on how expensive it is.

More importantly, he advised them to seek help from experts and not be influenced by social media.

“Do not believe everything that you see of the influencers on social media as they are covered with filters. Everyone is obsessed with fair skin but invest in your skin properly. Do not just buy products that are advertised or is suitable for someone as skin problem also leads to mental illness,” he noted.

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By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Mar 16, 2024 11:35:32 pm
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