DGMC’s Web Rendezvous – Unlock Young Minds: Gen-Next
Webinar held on 27th May 2020
Kill shame, seek help: Dr Harish Shetty
“DGMC’s Web Rendezvous – Unlock Young Minds: Gen-Next” webinar was an opportunity to discuss mental health issues and get a holistic view on developing psychological skill in coping with the lockdown.
This insightful online seminar conceived by DGMC’s Principal Dr. Amee Vora scrutinised the overall development of students in general. The colloquium dealt with interacting with parents and students and getting to know their state of mind.
The webinar was broadcasted on YouTube via Zoom app which attracted 1K+ live viewers and the Illustrious mix of panellists for this convention were Dr. Sumati Oza (moderator) founder and director of ‘Image-Eleganz’, Dr. Harish Shetty a practising psychiatrist and the founder of ‘Maitri’ an organisation that works with families affected with mental illness , Dr. Hanif Lakdawala director at Akbar Peerbhoy College of Commerce and Economics, advocate Sheetal Metkar renowned Odissi dancer and the founder of ‘UTKAL Nritya Niketan’ since 2000.
Esmail Marzouk and Rahul Sharda, student representatives pursuing MA in Communications and Journalism and BA in Films, Television and New Media Production, respectively, also contributed by sharing issues faced by students.
The webinar began with moderator Dr. Sumati Oza laying down the perspective that the global pandemic, lockdown, uncertainty of exams, information overload, not able to connect with our loved ones all this is the perfect recipe for unchecked anxiety and feelings of isolation. However, Dr.Oza stressed that this was also a fantastic opportunity to find something new and that the lockdown was redrawing our attention from the external to the internal.
Discussing the methods to achieve a healthy and active mind renowned psychiatrist Dr. Harish Shetty rightly acknowledged the rising fear, anger and suspicion amongst the masses, could, in future lead to a mental health avalanche. However, this was preventable to a certain extent if a lot of work is done is on the invisible mind. “If only we continue rehabilitating the minds of the people who have been affected, many pragmatic and optimistic transformations can be witnessed,” he emphasised.
Elaborating on Dr. Shetty’s remark, Dr. Lakdawala stated that disruption is the correct defining word to describe this pandemic and a vast majority is stressed because our routine life has been disrupted. “And whenever the routine life is disrupted, we are bound to be stressed. Nevertheless, it is crucial to know how to face this situation and its well-defined consequences,” stated Dr. Lakdawala.
Firstly, one has to fight negative thoughts and not be scared of this constant thought struggle, he said highlighting the importance of positivity. Dr. Lakdawala also suggested that we reboot ourselves and start thinking in a highly creative manner. Creativity is nothing but when a human being starts thinking in a non-routine manner.
Necessity is the mother of invention, while identifying the fact that it is imperative that we take care of our own mental and physical health, stated Sheetal Metkar. One should be obliged to keep the artist within them alive, she added.
DGMC’s student representatives Esmail Marzoukfrom Egypt and Rahul Sharda too shared their individual experiences and thoughts concerning the Covid-19 lockdown. Staying in a hostel, moving back to their hometown, having to deal with the loss of personal space, working on professional research work during these mentally exhausting times were some of the views that they shed light upon.
Globalisation has disconnected the world, but the Covid-19 Crisis has brought families together. Once this pandemic is over people will come forth with many chronic issues which they have neglected, opined Dr. Shetty.
Ironically, the most negative word these days is ‘positive’ and currently it is observed that there is a lot of pressure on ‘being positive’, Dr. Shetty explained. One cannot be happy forcefully and thus there should be no pressure on being positive simply because we are human, he added. Dr. Shetty also stated the reality that one of the most common cause for suicide is family problems and conducting positive activities daily to prevent mental illnesses is the need of the hour. He passionately believes that to truly unlock our minds, we should and can enjoy this “pause”.
Being a motivational speaker Dr. Lakdawala guided the participants of the webinar to start identifying the mentors who are well-settled and can guide students. “It is vital that we communicate with such mentors. Our mind is not locked, and we can certainly build up a network to connect with people who can help us. Smartphones play a key role in this journey,” he commented.
During these tough times people are treating this lockdown like a productivity contest.Parent Sheetal Metkar advised that if one preferred to take a nap to release tension, they should feel free to do so.
Interestingly, foreign student Esmail revealed that he and his peers took some constructive measures in the hostel, including group decisions, maintaining hygiene, and many students worked on their bad habits. “They have started exercising. For some, consuming social media content increased as well,” he mentioned. Trying to adjust, he personally woke up early and worked dedicatedly on his MA research project. His advice to his fellow college mates was to take up studying or an online course to challenge boredom.
Student Rahul Sharda too expressed his difficulty in adjusting with his personal space and his disturbed sleeping pattern. He also had to motivate himself to do “something productive”. He reckoned that the youth are realising that they have to take care of themselves and it is necessary to find out something that keeps them happy.
Speaking of family, parent Sheetal Metkar shared her stories of sibling rivalry and how she is gracefully raising two young adolescent boys. She suggested the parents praise their children openly but criticise them in private, thus avoiding comparison with their peers as kids pick up the tiniest of signals and that might lead to a chaotic mental state.
This raised an important point –how and when should parents detect anxiety symptoms in their child? To this, Dr. Shetty emphasised to check on symptoms like increased heart rate, sleeplessness, fear of the pandemic and also occupational functioning of the ward if s/he is too quiet, too angry, and wishes to go out a lot. That would be the time to consult a friendly neighbourhood psychologist. Dr. Shetty also advised the students to get their sleep schedule as sleep deprivation can complicate matters further. He also shed light on a simple hack for families who are hesitant to share their emotions: “Let there be a software for sharing bad news early’. Let the parents be open to each other and show that they are vulnerable as much as the kids. When parents share their difficult emotions early it becomes easier for the child to seek help. Kill shame, seek help.”
Dr. Lakdawala added to this idea by commenting that most families lack trust and communication within themselves and this generational trauma can be surmounted by engaging in combining activities to gain trust. Setting up a routine also helps this goes for both parents and children.
The panellists were also asked questions on how they stay motivated during these tough days. Most panellists claimed that they indulged in yoga and meditation while some preferred to read, walk and study. To keep herself on toes child psychologist Dr. Oza said that she writes down her to-do list and finds time for gardening. Principal Dr. Vora mentioned that she was glad that she was able to spend quality time with her mother, which she could not during her busy schedule. While family time is surely important some panellists resorted to watching films and listening to old Bollywood songs.
Dr. Oza gave one big takeaway message i.e., to not sit idle under any circumstances. Always be on your toes and be the best version of yourself.
Lastly this enthralling and eye-opening webinar was concluded with Dr. Dilnaz Boga extending a warm vote of thanks to our esteemed chairman, senior RSET department head’s, webinar’s panellists, participants, staff, and DGMC’s management and all those who helped making DGMC’s Web Rendezvous – Unlock Young Minds: Gen-Next webinar a huge success.
Shri Ashok M. Saraf
Shri Kailash S. Kejriwal
Hon. Secretary & Trustee
Shri Sajjankumar Goenka
DGMC – Donor
Shri Narendra D Goenka
DGMC – Donor
Dr Amee Vora
Principal – DGMC
Prof. Kanchan Luthra
Assistant Prof, Programme In-charge: BAFTNMP
IQAC Organising Committee:
Dr. Dilnaz Boga – Assistant Professor, DGMC
Ms Rubina Mohammad – Assistant Professor, DGMC
Ms. Subhamitra Adhikari – Assistant Professor, DGMC
Ms.Geetanjali Wani – Librarian, DGMC
Ms Sunita Cordeiro – Coordinator, DGMC