Celebration of the World Mental Health Day is a significant event to the Human Rights Office Kandy in its commitment to seek justice and provide the utmost care for survivors of violence. We celebrated the day on the 05th of October 2013 at Lewella Fatima Retreat House. The participants of the celebration were mostly Our survivor groups- survivor group of families of disappeared, survivors of torture rape, survivors of Human rights violations, and their family members, members of the support group, the family counselors, and the friends and well-wishers. There were around 125 participants for the celebration.
World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. This day, each October thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to Mental Illness and its major effects on peoples' life worldwide.
The theme of the global Mental Health Day in 2013 is “Mental health and older adults”. Research reveals that “the number of older adults is growing fast all over the world” and “the socioeconomic impact of such demographic changes is adding to the overall mental health consequences.”We the Human rights Office – Kandy adapted theme in Unisom with the growth process of our survivor group as “Mental Health and Growth Process”.
The visual presentations, soul soothing music embodied the meaning of the theme “Mental Health and growth process” and generated meaning of the day. The welcome dance “BharathaNatiyam” invoked the blessings of the Deities on the participants.
With great pleasure the Human rights Office and the survivor group of families of the disappeared presented the publication “Nadiaya” meaning “the River”. The magazine portrays the importance of mental health, the life experiences of the survivor group as well as shared knowledge and expertise of the educated and the professionals. The secretary of the families of the disappeared briefed the gathering on the vision goal and
the objectives of the magazine. She expressed her hope and wished that the inspiring articles in the magazine may guide us towards a positive outlook which in turn would pave the way to overcome all challenges and obstacles that may fall in our life’s path.
At the culmination of the day’s program Mr. Senarath the coordinator of the Families of the Disappeared delivered the vote of thanks.
At the end of the day’s celebrations the participants enjoyed the lunch provided for them and returned to their homes with refreshed and reinvigorated mind, heart and spirit.
The chief guest for the occasion was Mr. Dominic Nanayakara a psychological counselor. Mr. Nanayakkara spoke on “The importance of leading a happy and meaningful life” and Ms. Seetha Wickramasinghe demonstrated very appealing relaxation exercises in between. The participants enjoyed the activities. A tone of joy and happiness prevailed in the whole house when all of them took part in relaxation exercises. We assume that the invaluable knowledge guided the participants towards a brighter and healthier life style.
It was a healing experience for the survivor group to be relived of the tension and stress taste of raising their minds to a high level of thinking and enjoying. The day ended with a tone of joy and happiness.