Seminar on “Mental Health Matters” organized at St. Aloysius College (Autonomous) Mangaluru – KONKANCATHOLIC.COM

Seminar on “Mental Health Matters” organized at St. Aloysius College (Autonomous) Mangaluru

June 10, 2022

Mangaluru: The Department of Political Science and the Center for Extension Services at St. Aloysius College (Autonomous) Mangaluru organised the seminar titled, “Mental Health Matters”.

Dr. Srinivas Bhat U, Department of Psychiatry, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Derlakatte, Mangaluru laid down the context to the students that makes the knowledge of mental health and its enjoyment a necessity for the students and the youngsters in general. The ecosystem at present offers us with comforts and choices. There are times when learning from life becomes so less that he explained through an illustrated through a case that involved hasty decisions and high emotions. He pointed out that most persons manage with life wherein 8 to 10 out of 100 have problems of management. He explained the challenges and issues faced by adolescents and the youngsters above the age of 19 by simplifying the German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Homburger Erikson’s theory on identity. Dr. Bhat said that mental illnesses are largely to do with genes or acquired through heredity. These get triggered when such people undergo massive stress like loss of a loved one, love failure, job failure etc and further aggravates when substance abuse is involved.

The second major theme that Dr Bhat addressed in terms of mental health involved relationship, friendship, love, affairs and marriage by giving three illustrations to the effect. Through these interesting examples, he emphasised that a person needs to focus on being self-independent and in a position to perform actions with responsibility before committing to a relationship; friendship and love related affairs including marriage will have to wait! Here he laid stress on the involvement of substance abuse and how it alters one’s perception on relationships and job and thus impairs once decision-making.  Hence, the need to approach counsellors who enable you to put “your inside out” with confidentiality. He assured that counsellors merely allow you to pour out in such a manner that you find your own solutions. In short, talking out helps you to think! Thoughts of depression and suicide can invade any mind, but how its addressed makes a difference. There is a need to improve one’s lifestyle that relates to patterns of sleeping and eating. There is a greater need to be in harmony with inner self.

Many of the above points were reiterated and simplified during the Q&A session on exam pressure, breaking down exam stress to parents, stigma on medication for psychological problems, inbreeding and mental illness, questions of ego, deviant behaviour in childhood, and the role religiosity and spirituality plays in grooming values that enhance mental health and a healthy society.

Dr. Rose Veera D’Souza, HOD Dept. of Political Science and the co-convenor introduced Dr. Srinivas Bhat U and welcomed the gathering. Rev Dr Praveen Martis SJ., in his presidential message said that the College provided an ecosystem to seek help for one’s problems at the student level and for others too. The session was co-convened by Ms. Jennifer Ida Mascarenhas, the Dean of Extension Services. The webinar was attended by 120 students from various disciplinary backgrounds.