Prime College in collaboration with PsychBigyaan Network Nepal, took an initiation to address an alarming impact of COVID-19 in the mental health of students
COVID-19 has disrupted people’s lives in countless ways. A critical issue at play in tandem with the pandemic is the rising number of mental health issues people are facing because of all these disruptions created by COVID. Because of the stigma around mental health in our society, students refrain from openly talking about their struggles with mental illnesses and their psychological injuries. Prime Educational Inc took their first step in addressing this topic and destigmatizing mental health by organizing an online session on the topic “COVID-19 and its mental impact on students’ on June 19. Ms. Kripa Sigdel, the co-founder of PsychBigyaan Network Nepal, a mental health counselor, and lecturer at Prime College, was the speaker for the session.
The key takeaways from the session were the steps one should take to identify and help others and ourselves tackle psychological injuries. The session included more than 75 participants including students and teachers between the age groups of 16 to 35. Participants learned the basic concepts of the mental health continuum and the characteristics like severity and duration that distinguish mental illnesses from minor psychological injuries. This part of the session taught participants about the mental illnesses that they hear about in their day-to-day life like depression, PTSD, anxiety, and also acknowledged many others that are usually unheard-of like claustrophobia, separation anxiety and so on. The participants learned how to deal with their stress and emotions that bring about these minor yet equally severe mental conditions that she labeled as psychological injuries.
Participants learned about the STOP (stop, take a breath, observe, proceed) approach that psychologists suggest people use whenever they feel uneasy about small things in their daily life. The speaker also passed on many other small yet practical steps one can take to remedy these injuries like scheduling one’s day ahead of time, setting short term goals, counting one’s blessings, and so on. The session also included a Q/A session where Ms. Sigdel answered the participants’ questions that they had submitted before and during the session. Participants had a lot on their minds that they were able to put forth anonymously, and the speaker’s answers to those questions seemed to lift a heavy weight off the participants’ chests.
The session as a whole was a major success as many participants were requesting our speaker and the college representatives present there to host other similar seminars/events. This response sparked conversations between Prime Educational Inc. and PsychBigyaan’s team, and future collaborations between the two are already in the pipeline. Prime Educational Inc. is determined to work with PNN towards the two institutions’ shared goal of De-Stigmatizing Mental Health. Anyone who’s seeking help with their mental health situation and needs support can reach out to the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Department at 1660-012-2223.
– Ujjwal Kandel