Positive Mental Health Training

Facilitated one day workshop on Positive Mental Health on 20 October 2011 for the counselors at SOS Children’s Villages Nepal, National Training Centre, Kavre. There were 18 participants working as counselors in various parts of the country in SOS villages.

In the workshop, the participants were introduced to the key concepts of psychosocial well-being, positive mental health and positive psychology in the first half of the day. In the latter half of the day, the key concepts of Solution-Focused Therapy were introduced theoretically and Standard Format of First Session was demonstrated through the role play. The training was well-received by the participants and they expressed their gladness to learn the new technique of Solution-Focused Intervention which was introduced in Nepal with the help of Claudia Van Zuiden this year earlier in April.

Contents were mostly theoretical including the research findings related to positive psychology. Some participants raised the doubts regarding some of the results which I think is good skepticism. Psychological research related to positive psychology is yet to begin in Nepal. Some videos from ted.com were also shown which were related to positive psychology and design & happiness.

The praiseworthy matter about SOS Children Villages is that they are already working with positive approach that includes family model which promotes positive mental health. In a home, 10 children stay together with a mother. All the children become brothers and sisters taking care of one another. Nabin sir took me around the village and I saw a very good nurturing environment for the children with very good physical facilities for shelter and play. They also have a school inside in which the children from outside community can also get admitted and study. This helps me in socialization of the children and their reintegration into the society when they grow up to become independent.

I would like to thank Mr. Nabin Bajracharya, Assistant Director and psychologist in SOS Nepal, Mr. Udaya Aryal, director, SOS National Training Centre, Ranjan dai and all the participants.


Yoga & Tai Chi Training

Dear All,

Central Association of Psychology Students (CAPS) is organising Yoga & Tai Chi Training from June 1-7 2011 in the Tribhuvan University Premises. Interested participants can contact Pradeep Acharya, Secretary for registration. Call him at 9841168879.

Venue: Tribhuvan University Premises
Dates: June 1-7 2011
Time: 6 am – 9 am.
Instructor: Shyam Sundar Shrestha.
Contact: Pradeep Acharya, Secretary, CAPS 9841168879.
Registration fee: Rs. 300 (CAPS member); Rs. 500 (CAPS non-member).


Prepared by: Instructor- Shyam Sundar Shrestha.

Yoga: The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’. It means union, join, bind, or communion. It is true union of our will with the will of god. Here god means not person it is symbol of supreme ultimate power or force.

Tai chi chuan or taijiquan: Its literal meaning is ‘supreme ultimate fist’ or internal martial art.

Yoga is from India and tai chi is from China. The similarities between tai chi and yoga have both school of thought are practiced in ‘chi/prana’ or soul. Their methods are designed for meditation, self-awareness and enlightenment. In essence, their systems are designed to bring the mind and body into harmony. Yoga and Tai Chi both allow the individual to proceed at their own pace and level of ability. Both require very little equipment, and results can be felt immediately. Both result in increased energy, flexibility and a positive, healthy attitude.

Yoga practice in physically stable. Either standing or either lying down body position but tai chi is practice in standing, as a slow dance-like meditative exercise.

According the yoga our life is depending on breathing. If breathing is regular and slow we live long life and if our breathing is irregular and fast our life is too short or die soon. As well as our thinking process is depend on our breathing level. If we can change our breathing rate our thinking process should be change automatically.

Mental Health First Aid training kicks off in Kathmandu

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 16:34

A four day Mental Health First Aid training workshop began in Kathmandu on Monday under the aegis of the Himalayan Development International (HDI) UK, South Asian Forum on Mental Health and Psychiatry- Nepal (SAF-N) and National Health Training Centre (NHTC). The training aims to train health assistants and social workers working in the mental health sector in Nepal to be able to provide first aid to the victims of mental health problems until they could receive proper treatment.

“If you could implement what you learn here in your village at the grassroots level it will make a huge difference in the life of people suffering from mental health,” said Dr. Kedar Narsing KC, President of Nepal Medical Association (NMA). “More needs to be done by the government in terms of prioritising programmes, budget allocation and training all levels of human resources to properly address the growing scourge of mental illness among the Nepalese,” he added.

Experts and social workers working in the mental health sector believe that up to 30 percent of the Nepalese could be suffering from some form of mental health disorders in Nepal. However, no study has been done in Nepal to date to find out the real magnitude of the problem relating to mental health.

Nepal has a population of nearly 30 million but there are only 52 psychiatrists, less than 100 psychiatric nurses and one national level hospital to treat people suffering from mental health related problems. However, it is heartening to note that the number of non-governmental not for profit institutions are gradually increasing many of which are established by the people who suffer from some form of mental problems.

“Nepal has all the reasons and ingredients to have a huge number of mental health problems among its population,” said senior psychiatrist Dr. Dhurba Man Shrestha who chaired the inaugural function of the training workshop. “The ongoing political disturbances, continued socio-political conflict, increasing unemployment, increasing migration of youth and economically active population, increase in substance misuse, widening gap between the rich and the poor and rise in poverty lead to depression and other mental problems”.

Matrika Dhakal, Chairman, KOSHISH, a National Mental Health Self-Help Organization, said a lot needs to be done by the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to support organisations trying to help themselves in the mental health sector but the beginning could be the establishment of a Mental Health Division within the MoHP which will facilitate all the 30 or so national organisations as well international organisations like HDI, which has been organising training programmes in the area of mental health in Nepal, to address this issue.

Betty Kitchnner and Prof. Anthony Jorm, the experts who developed Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training programme in Australia in 2001 are conducting training at the workshop. MHFA is currently being practiced in 16 countries by social workers and volunteers including in South Africa, Korea and Hong Kong to Japan. After 12 hours training participants of MHFA training workshop in Nepal too will be able to provide the emergency aid to the Nepalese people. Currently 30 participants representing Mental Hospital, Maryknoll Nepal Ashadeep, Koshish, Centre for Mental Health and Counseling Nepal (CMC-N), Asian Pharmaceutical etc are attending the training.

Dr. Arun Kumar Jha currently volunteering from HDI UK, Dr. Pramod Swyangwa, Head of the Psychiatry Department at BP Koirala Health Institute for Health Sciences, Dr. Ravi Shakya from Mental Health and Prabhat Kiran Pradhan from Maryknoll Nepal are facilitating the training workshop with the objective to adapt Mental Health First Aid manual developed by the Australians to make it suitable for the use in Nepal.

source: http://www.nepalnews.com/main/index.php/news-archive/8-news-in-brief/11178-mental-health-first-aid-training-kicks-off-in-kathmandu.html

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The Art2Healing Workshop

I recently participated in a 5 day Creative Art Threapy organised by The Art2Healing Project. The workshop took place from 8-12 October 2010 at Change Nepal, Thamel.  There were 15 participants which consisted of counselors from TPO Nepal, Change Nepal, Saathi and some students from Tribhuvan University (including me). Lydia Tan, founder/director of The Art2Healing Project facilitated the workshop and it went very well. The nature of the training was completely participatory and experiential so, it made every participant feel engaged.

Photo 1: Making art to be used in the workshop session.

It was wonderful to learn few new techniques on using art in therapeutic setting, esp. counseling. As we practiced the techniques during the workshop, it was interesting to explore the art work and how it could act as doors to our hearts and minds. Art is an  easy way to express  our feelings and help us to understand it better. I think this kind of training for counselors and therapists can be really useful working with children and adults who have difficulty expressing  their thoughts & feelings in verbal communication.

Photo 2: Making a group body sculpture (we were trying to make a heart-shaped sculpture by joining the hands together representing the feeling of belonging and safety).

Besides art, there was yoga, meditation, body- sculpting, games that made workshop interesting and worthwhile. The 5 days went so fast and quickly, I enjoyed every moment of the workshop. I loved making art though I am not that very good at that. It was so wonderful when it was time to explore the work after doing it and it really contains our feelings and feelings. Like Lydia said, “Art serves as a safe container.”

Photo 3: One of the paintings I did in the workshop. This is titled Self-Awareness.

For the picture above, we were asked to draw/paint a picture on the theme:”Where am I now in my journey of life?” I could not have a single image in my mind so, I painted this, just the brush strokes all over using different colours which are symbolic and have meanings.

I vividly remember one interesting case during the art therapy session. One of the participants role-played as client and we were exploring her art work. The role play is real and related with our lives, we tell what is happening in our lives. The stories we shared were real.  I looked at her picture and it was interesting to notice that she had forgotten to draw the mouth for her daughter in the art. When I told her about it, she felt little bit embarrassed for forgetting to draw the mouth. Then, I asked her if her daughter does not speak much. She replied, “No, she talks a lot but we have not spoken a single word, talked with each other for so many days. We are so busy with our works.” It reminded me of TAT test in which we interpret the hidden motives and make associations in test-taker’s life using the stories from ambiguous picture presented to him/her.

Thank you Jamuna Maharjan Shrestha, counselor from TPO Nepal for letting me know about the workshop and encourgaging me to participate in it. And Thanks to Lydia for sharing her knowledge and skills in the workshop. I and my friend Raj met Lydia on 22 Oct. 2010 for a short interview which I will be posting soon here in my blog.

The Art2Healing Project is a non-profit, creative arts therapy organization based in Asia that is dedicated to assisting and empowering individuals at risk, particularly women and children who are victims of trauma.

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art2Healing-Project/271925597041 (Like it!)

Website: http://www.theart2healingproject.org/

Thanks for participating in PsychWeb 2.0 Training

Thank you all the friends for participating in the 2 days PsychWeb 2.0 Training program. Also, a big thanks goes to my friend, Abindra Raj Dangol for co-facilitating the training. In the first day, there was little bit of technical disturbance with the internet connection so, for sometime it was difficult. On the second day, it went very well except for the breaks. i am sorry that I could not ask if the breaks were necessary. there were a lot of contents to be covered so i just forget. overall, we have recieved positive feedback for the program. It is a success of Central Association of Psychology Students. Last but not the least, I would like to thank Prof. Shishir Subba, Head of Central Department of Psychology at TU for supporting the program.

We have learnt a great deal from this experience and we believe we can do much better next time!! If you have any suggestions or comments, you are welcome to write to me!

S U J E N .

P.S: I am glad to know that Raj and Anjana is now subscribing in scribd. Keep checking, I upload the documents regularly! Thanks!!