World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day declared for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 with the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
Human Rights Office in Kandy working with different kinds of survivor groups for their legal and psychological needs, believe, that mental health is a human right. We celebrated it with the survivor families of both ethnic groups Sinhala and Tamil. Among the participants, families of the disappeared and of the prisoners and the survivors of Rape & Torture and other Human Rights violation and the members of the support group.
Importance of mental health and the significance of the day was explained by Fr. Nandana Manatunga the Director of HRO while the theme and the day's programme was explained by Sr. Mabel Rodrigo the Trauma Counselor of HRO.
The trauma that was experienced by the families of the victims with the 21/4 2019 bomb attack on churches and hotels and all those who viewed the scenes via Television were highlighted and the need to be in solidarity with them with ongoing trauma counseling was pointed out.
Drama Therapist Dr. Ravindra Ranasinghe and his Team conducted several exercises along with the participants while explaining how to cope up with stress and trauma, hence it was active participation and learning.
Body movements and yogic postures session kept their minds in a state quietness all through the sessions. It immensely helped the participants to search and observe objects that reflect their own personal stories as they mindfully walked around the nature and surroundings and later to share them in the group.
One of the best techniques of managing stress is laughing out aloud. Group performance of laughing out aloud integrated with movements, and sharing in small groups each person’s unique ways of creating happiness for oneself and managing stress helped them to learn innovative ways of daily living. At the closure of the session participants were given an exercise on progressive relaxation, an opportunity to expose their pains and tears within a religious ritual and release them to the nature.
On 2019 Metal health day, all the participants were able to take part in a living session of discovering their personal journey with their traumatic pain and ways of dealing with pain and tears.
Human Rights Office Kandy, Torture in Sri Lanka, Disappearances in Sri Lanka, Healing and Counseling
@ 2019 All Rights Received