An introduction from Training and Research Initiatives, Bangalore

By the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Modern World as we know it today had taken root.  Rapidly evolving cultural trends, abstractionist art movements, the new political and economic environments and the development of industrial societies meant for a faster pace of living than ever before. In the twenty-first century, this pace of living has gained even more momentum. We live in a time of smartphones, air travel, fast food and overthinking. Our environment has strategically been modeled to reel in an era of agitation and stress and most times we continue to exist in mechanical microcosms of life forgetting that we are primarily and most importantly, human. The truth therein is that the rate of exchange between human beings in today’s global society exists lesser in economic transactions and more in human connections and collective experiences. The remarkable subjectivity of the human mind lies in its ability to hold reason and perspective in both hands and allow for our collective experiences as human beings to be the balancing factor. Perhaps these collective experiences are what have driven our global society forward despite opposing forces and divisions and that is precisely why our mental health is more important today than ever before.

As a resource hub and an organisation working with mental health in India, the articles from Training and Research Initiatives(TRI) will focus not just on mental health in today’s day and age but also on the spheres in which it operates. How children are being taught, how our young people are being influenced by the media and the resilience of whole communities are, directly or indirectly, contributing to the overall mental health of the international society. The more we learn, the more the practices we employ in educating and raising children and building communities must evolve to cater to diverse needs.

Earlier this year, the Southern State of Kerala in India and the Coastal region of Karnataka was struck by the worst floods India has witnessed in the 2000s. Over a million people were displaced or evacuated and over 500 people were killed, but what stood out amidst the tragedy, was the sheer strength of the people. We witnessed groups of people setting out from the cities not just to provide aid in terms of physical resources but also to provide Psychological First Aid and be present to lend a shoulder to fellow human beings under duress. Now, there are a group of individuals, from diverse professions, ready to set out on to the field should the need arise. It was a testament to the fact the mental health does not exist in isolation but in a collective effort toward bettering each other’s lives. There are numerous examples of such fortitude which all indicate the same truth that working towards bettering the mental health of our global society begins with awareness at a grass root level; it starts with education, awareness and through simple acts of kindness.

The enforcement of mental health goes beyond a prognosis and a treatment plan. At the very heart of it lies collaboration; a collective humanitarian effort to help eradicate the stigma comes is so present in the modern world. It involves incorporating changes in our everyday lives. In how we see things, in how we teach, in how we parent, in how we see the extraordinary in the ordinary, in how we learn and in how we listen to one and other. It involves blending cultures and finding what works best for communities. A global society demands a global initiative towards propelling each other up and the spheres in which life operates. As the psychologist, Carl Rogers put it, “What is most personal is most universal.”  To effectively improve mental health, individually and collectively, the way forward is a kindness.

 

Image: The People Speak! via Flickr 

 

 

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The Student Newspaper 2016