RoundGlass Hosts Livestream Roundtable Chat with Experts in Honor of MTV’s #MentalHealthAction Day

New Delhi: To show solidarity in support of the inaugural #MentalHealthAction Day spearheaded by the MTV Entertainment Group, RoundGlass partnered with them to conduct a Livestream chat show. Elevating critical conversations around mental health, the show was hosted by RoundGlass’s Global Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Prakriti Poddar. The mental health experts at the panel consisted of Sian Beilock (President of Barnard College at Columbia University), Vikram Patel (Harvard Department of Global Health Professor), Elisha Goldstein (Ph.D., Co-founder of the Mindful Living Collective), Martin Enault (Executive Mental Health Advisor), Sharon-Coyle Saeed (Grief and Trauma Specialist) and Dr. Raghu Kiran Appasani (Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist and Mental Health Advocate).

#MentalHealthAction Day is an open-source movement of organizations, brands, government agencies, and cultural leaders to drive culture from mental health awareness to mental health action. The conversations were focused on identifying the ways we can find opportunities to evolve during these challenging times as well as a huge need for mental health to be protected and improved.

“During the current coronavirus crisis plaguing the world, the focus has naturally been on the immediate physical fallout of the disease. However, there has not been enough emphasis on the mental health of patients who have tested positive; or that of those in quarantine and isolation; or the thousands of us in lockdown, grappling with a bleak reality that is unlike anything we have experienced before” stated Prakriti Poddar.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a volley of troubles on the world. Speaking of the same, Sharon-Coyle Saeed said “Social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic has led to millions of families the world over being locked down together in their homes and to widespread income and job losses. This has coincided with a significant global surge in domestic violence, which the United Nations (UN) has described as a ‘shadow pandemic’. Never before has the entire modern world been subjected to such collective feelings of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and sorrow and loneliness. Populations that were not used to being alone, like children and teenagers, were suddenly cut off from their social networks. The effects of isolation have been felt in every corner of society. Medically, loneliness is linked to increased rates of depression, anxiety, domestic abuse, substance abuse and suicide. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.”

“Everybody has mental health – mental health is about mental wellness. Mental health, till date, is largely spoken about in hushed voices and there is an urgent need to step up efforts to raise awareness. During the 2000’s the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) spent 20 billion dollars in 10 years on mental health in the US. During those years in the US, which has more mental health resources per capita than any other country in the world, suicide deaths increased by 30 percent, the burden of mental illness increased by 40 percent and more people now suffer from mental illnesses in the US than ever before. Mental health issues often begin during the school-age years. Therefore, education about mental health should also start at an early age” Vikram added.

Also, sedentary behaviour during the adolescence period is a marker of depression in adolescence. The Lancet Psychiatry reported that walking for one hour regularly, or doing other chores for the same length of time, at the age of 12 years, can reduce the risk of depression at the age of 18 years.

Elisha Goldstein emphasised the fact that being physically inactive for long periods in the teenage years is a risk factor for depression or mental illness. “Inactivity has been on the rise among youngsters for many years and apparently ‘dis-ease’ can lead to disease. To cope with the stress, distress and anxiety of present times, it’s time to focus on the 3R’s – recognising, realising and refocusing. There will be a lot of mixed feelings and naturally, we will feel anxiety, and maybe waves of panic. However, it is important to remember that our anxiety is helping us cope, bond together from a physical distance, and slow the spread of the virus. So our anxiety – while uncomfortable – is a good thing right now, especially if we manage it well. Also, we must prevent panic contagion and create periods when we can be screen-free and calm, engaging our attention in normal daily activities. Seize opportunities to share humour and lightness” Elisha stated.