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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Schizophrenia ~ SYMA Growth students hear on 'mental health'

In Mar 2016  Chief Minister Ms  J Jayalalithaa announced that Dr M Sarada Menon (92) was  chosen for Avvaiyar award of Tamil Nadu government ..  The award carries `1 lakh, a gold medal weighing eight grams, a certificate of merit and a shawl. (heard of her ?)

Srinivas Youngmens Association (popularly SYMA) has been running a full time tuition centre for X & + 2 students since 2008 and this is our 11th year of operation.  Almost all our students are from ‘economically suffering class’ and most of them are first generation students.  In the modern day World with rising prices, intense competition, not so conducive atmosphere for studies at home, the students are always under immense pressure.  Added could be peer pressure, sometimes not so well treated at school by teachers and fellow-students, parents being too harsh or not caring at all; parents who often compare and put their ward down – life is always challenging for some.  Today after an 1 ½ hour session, most students felt happy and thanked those 2 who spoke them passionately.

Not so easy to answer a simple Q ~ when physically ill – say, continued headache, fever, body pains, stomach disorder and anything similar, one would immediately rush to a Doctor – but what happens in the society, when for some reason, one is not too comfortable with their mental health.  ‘Mental health’ itself is seen as an ‘oxymoron’ !  ..

Random Harvest  - released in 1942 was based on  James Hilton novel of the same name, directed by Mervyn LeRoy. It starred Ronald Colman as a shell-shocked, amnesiac World War I soldier, and Greer Garson as his love interest.  In Tamil tinseldom, mental disorder is shown in very negative manner most times.  In ‘Deiva Thirumagal’ – Vikaram starred in a role of mentally disabled whose peaceful life in Ooty undergoes change when his daughter is born and wife dies during childbirth.  In Tamil movie, ‘Thillalangadi’ – Santhanam as Dr Paul an amnesiac is made to believe that he is a Doctor and starts diagnosing falsely.   

Mental health is a level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment.  The state of a healthy mind could include -  emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. 

Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Over the course of one’s  life, if one experiences mental health problems, thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including: biological factors, life experiences and family history.
The word dreaded – ‘Schizophrenia’  is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling. The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.  There are several factors that contribute to the risk of developing schizophrenia.

SCARF is the acronym for the Schizophrenia Research Foundation, a non governmental, non profit organization in Chennai, founded in 1984 by a group of philanthropists and mental health professionals led by Dr. M.Sarada Menon.  Today Dr R Padmavathi, Director  and  Dr D Vijayaraghavan, Psychiatrist,  were at NKT National Boys High School and spoke to our SYMA Growth tuition centre students (only X standard students.) it was a very interactive session, with students raising some doubts on the state of mental health.  Dr Vijayaraghavan & Dr Padmavathi patiently encouraged to understand these more, making them much relived of their stresses.

SYMA thanks SCARF, Dr R Padmavathi & Dr D Vijayaraghavan for their visit and time in talking to our students, which would change the life of students in a better way. SYMA is planning couple of more sessions for our + 2 Science & Commerce students as well.  Here are some photos taken in my mobile .. ..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Sept. 2018.


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