“DEPRESSION : A GLOBAL CRISIS”
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. Our survivor groups celebrated the World Mental Health Day on the 5th of October at St. Mary’s Church Hall, Ampitiya. There were around 125 participants for the program.
The theme for the year 2012 is “Depression: A Global Crisis”. Depression is basically a mental state. It has been estimated that a population of 350 million suffers from depression. A research conducted in 17 countries, in the year 2011 has revealed that 1 out of 20 suffer from depression. The theme is of massive importance to our celebration, since many among us have fallen victim to different forms of violence, and have thereafter succumbed to depression. It is indeed mandatory to understand that this mental state is precipitated by various forms of violence and be aware of the treatment available for depression. The objective of the celebration is to raise awareness on depression as a mental state which is curable as well as preventive, both before and after succumbing into depressive state.
The chief guest for the occasion was Mr. K. M. Herath, a psychological counselor and therapist. The President and the secretary of the Families of the Disappeared welcomed the chief guest and the guest of honor with a handful of betel leaves. The traditional oil lamp was decorated to symbolize the hope of our survivor group for relief from every form of mental and psychological discomfort in all the survivors all over the world. With the lighting of the oil lamp they wished that the shadow of all mental discomfort and illness may be diminished from our society by the light of knowledge and awareness.
Meaningful songs, soul soothing music, and visuals are therapeutic to the mind and uplift the soul. The visual presentation embodied and generated peace of mind and the Puja dance invoked the blessings of the Deities on the participants.
Rev. Fr. Nandana Manatunga the Director of the Human Rights Office shared his vision on Mental Health and his expertise that he accumulated in the process of dedicated services with survivors of Human Rights violations.
With great pleasure the Human rights Office and the survivor group presented the publication “In Tune with the Rhythm of the Cosmos”. The magazine based on the thematic concern of the year’s World Mental Health Day is a part of our endeavor to prevent depression among us. The president of the Families of the disappeared presented the magazine with the hope and wish that the useful and 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.
Mr. Herath the psychological counselor and therapist spoke on Depression and demonstrated the means of recovering from depression in order to enjoy peace of mind and a healthy life style. A simultaneous Tamil translation helped the Tamil speaking participants to understand the message of the Day. The session was very appealing with 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 soft jogging. We assume that the invaluable knowledge guided the participants towards a brighter and healthier life style.
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.
Human Rights Office Kandy, Torture in Sri Lanka, Disappearances in Sri Lanka, Healing and Counseling
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