It is important to understand that staying mentally healthy is an universal right for everyone, and the people need to help motivate the internally displaced people in fighting the post-traumatic stress disorders caused by the ongoing unrest, said Indian Psychiatric Society, Manipur State Branch president professor K Shantibala Devi.
She was speaking at the World Mental Health Day, 2023 celebration at Relief camp-Konthoujam Makha Khabam High School, Konthoujam Makha Sabal Leikai, Imphal West on Tuesday.
The World Mental Health Day has been observed since 1992 with a different theme for each year.
Shantibala said thousands of people have been displaced and they will be carrying different types of traumas due to the violence they witnessed.
The internally displaced people are given shelter at various relief camps or prefabricated houses and others. Although they are physically fit, many of them have not complained about their mental health statuses while prioritising on basic needs, she added.
To raise awareness about their mental health conditions and motivate them for keeping mentally healthy, IPS, Manipur State Branch decided to organise the programme at relief camps, said Shantibala.
She further said due to the violence that took place during the initial days of the turmoil, many of the internally displaced people are going through serious post-traumatic stress disorders. Some people have come out to consult with the mental health experts; however, many of them are still at various relief camps without sharing the internal turmoil and stress they are going through.
She further said those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders should be taken care cautiously by letting them share their stress and by motivating them. “Mental health is a universal human right”is also this year’s theme and they should be given awareness on its importance, she mentioned.
The members of IPS and experts will be always there to assist those having post-traumatic stress disorders due to the present turmoil, she added.
There are around 80 displaced people including men, women and children at the relief camp in Konthoujam Makha Khabam High School, Konthoujam Makha Sabal Leikai, Imphal West. Most of them are reportedly coming from Thingaifai, Churachandpur district, she mentioned.
As a part of the programme IPS, Manipur State Branch handed over relief materials including stationary items and toys to the relief camp.
Pamphlets which mention some mental health tips were also distributed to the relief camp.
As per the mental health tip in the pamphlet, one should find activities in one’s daily schedule that provides a sense of peace.
It encourages one to stay socially connected with friends, colleagues or family members and schedule time where one can relax and be completely focused on the present moment.
“Do not overthink about the past or future, if you are going through a difficult time, then talk openly to close friends of family members. Learn new coping skills that can help you handle stress pressure and stress better, regular exercise is a great tool for boosting mood and reducing stress and anxiety. If you are feeling low for more than two weeks or suicidal you should seek help immediately. Do not indulge in alcohol/smoking/ganja/heroin to cope with stress, and it's ok to seek help, there is nothing to be ashamed about,” it read.