Mental Health Matters!

“Mental health issues are as normal as physical health issues. At some point in our life all of us face problems related to mental health. Be kind to yourself & be kind to the world. – Suchandra Chatterjee (Calcutta Rescue social worker and counsellor, MA in Clinical Psychology Calcutta University, Diploma in Psychiatric Counselling from Indian Psychoanalytical Society)

Covid19 has really overturned our lives. A pandemic like this and the lockdown period is totally uncalled for. Human beings are social and we crave to be in groups. This sudden social distancing is bound to beget stress & anxiety. It can lead to physical illness as well like headaches, neck & shoulder pain, back pain, upset stomach, not feeling hungry, a lump in the throat, heavy chest, tight muscles etc.
Students of Calcutta Rescue education centres are stuck into their homes, unable to meet their friends and play as they used to do. And as if the stress is not enough, this period has seen countless women & children living in situations of domestic violence, the lockdown fails to ensure their safety.

According to a report published on Deccan Herald on April, West Bengal Government helpline received 92,000 calls on abuse & violence in just 11 days. The pandemic may have increased the opportunities for people who are already abusing to control & coerce women & children in their homes to a greater degree- micromanaging who they talk to, when they eat, when they sleep, when they go out and this is all made harder & more frightening in the context of the pandemic. 

Suchanda Chatterjee regularly takesmental health awareness sessions for the students, conducting online group sessions, personal sessions, patient counselling, parent counselling & sometimes provide mental health support to CR staff as well.
“At Calcutta Rescue, there are around 45 gender-based violence survivors & several violence-related cases at CR Schools.” Suchandra says, “I am regularly in touch with them, doing telephonic counselling, asking them about their general well-being & coping strategies to get rid of the violence they are experiencing.” 
However, she doesn’t think that it is enough because- “Sadly very few of them are acknowledging that they are experiencing violence at home because of constant surveillances of abuser & lack of privacy at home.” Suchandra laments as she elaborates how she can still help them, “Emergency helpline number was shared with them so that they can immediately contact in an urgent situation. Apart from that, they can call me anytime to ask for help. I am also offering first-line support to women.  Connect & refer to survivors to Swayam for support.”
A mental health professional also needs to take care of her/his own mental health. Suchandra is very careful of it. She does yoga, reads motivational books and even cooks to relieve her stress.
Inspired by our work? Then Join Us!

Help us so that we can help more people!

Your contribution will make a change!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *