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INDIA: Children and parents gain mental health skills

Event focuses on those with little access to mental health activities


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Prafulta Center for Psychological Wellness recently held an event called “Celebration of Feeling” focused on mental health. The event was held at St. Dominic Savio, located in Andheri, a locality in the western part of Mumbai, India. Children from nearby neighborhoods, who don’t normally have access to mental health activities, learned how to handle difficult emotions like anger, sadness, nervousness and fear. They were able to express their emotions through art, painting, storytelling, dance and movement, a graffiti corner, pottery, and more.

A parenting program and career guidance were provided for adults. Additional activities were designed to promote productive thinking and creativity and help people stay positive in life. Parents also had opportunities to learn advanced leadership, problem-solving and creative skills.

Father Godfrey D’Sa, founder and executive director of Prafulta Center for Psychological Wellness, said, “We have mental health care for children, teens and families. Our focus as mental health caregivers is to restore dignity and hope and be compassionate, destigmatize mental health, and encourage people to access help and treatment available in order to live life in all its fullness.”

Oswald D’Souza, the group head of legal and contracts for L&T Energy Hydrocarbon and chief guest at the event, noted, “Mental health is a very crucial issue today. I come from the corporate world and it’s a fast-paced world. We really don’t have the time to pause and think about mental health and how it affects people. Physical ailments are easily noticeable and we start taking medication once it is visible. But mental ailments work below the surface very quietly and result in behaviors that eventually affect the environment that we work in, play in and live in.  I am happy that L&T Energy Hydrocarbon is collaborating with Prafulta on this crucial issue.”

More than 50 mental health caregivers and 80 psychology students from St. Xavier and Nanavati Colleges facilitated and assisted in this event. The event impacted 3,600 children and their parents in a fun-filled educational day.

Shalu Mehrotra, senior psychotherapist at Prafulta and the chief coordinator of the event, said, “It’s a joy to see both children and parents taking part so eagerly in all the activities that have been organized. After the COVID-19 pandemic, many have come to realize how fragile the mind is and if we do not take care of it, the consequences can be disastrous. We believe that normalization of conversations around mental health will eventually lead to better mental health care.”

Prafulta Center for Psychological Wellness was started in 1998 and provides psychological evaluation and diagnosis, professional counseling, career guidance, remedial education, psychiatric services, and occupational therapy. The organization’s psychologists and other professionals offer these services to individuals, groups and families to help aid independent functioning and improve quality of life.



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