The Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS conducted its Third National Online Conference, MHECON-2020, on the theme “Suicide Prevention: Current Challenges and Innovations” on 27th June 2020. A first of its kind web conference, MHECON-2020 included discussions prevalent in the field of suicide prevention and its recent practices. Around 235 participants had been part of the online conference. Dr. B.N.Gangadhar, Director of NIMHANS inaugurated the conference. The Department released its special edition of the Journal of Mental Health Education on “COVID-19 and Mental Health” and a booklet on “Immediate Care for Psychological and Emotional Events and Emergencies”. The online conference was a resourceful one and included a number of symposiums, panel discussions, and oral and poster presentations on the said theme.
The symptoms of one having mental health problems can be difficult to detect — even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental health problem can tell that something is amiss, but they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment – which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. As a society, we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, also there is also a lack of confidence in what to do if someone is distressed or in a crisis situation.
The first training program on “First Aid for Mental Health Problems” was successfully completed on 16.4.2016 at the Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS. Participants who undertook the two hour program learnt concrete tools that they can use to help distressed individuals get appropriate treatment and support. Hope this training program will change the dynamics by equipping laypeople with the knowledge they need to help individuals with mental health issues.